A 33 year-old Nigerian woman, Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, has been arrested by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for smuggling cocaine worth N21 billion into Nigeria.
The cocaine, weighing 26.84 kg, was concealed in 16 duvets, that she brought into the country from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
It was the biggest single seizure from an individual in the past 15 years.
Ifesinachi was said to be a hairdresser. Her arrest at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on 27 January came amidst the vow by the new NDLEA chairman, Brigadier Buba Marwa to dismantle drug trafficking cartels across Nigeria.
According to the spokesman of the agency, Jonah Achema: “On the 27th of January 2021, at about 1320hours, during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline passengers at the E- arrival hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, a female passenger by name Onyejegbu Ifesinachi Jennifer, 33 years, who arrived Nigeria from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, was intercepted by NDLEA operatives.
“As a standard operating procedure, all passengers to and from high-risk countries are always profiled using passengers’ manifest.
“It happened that the above-named suspect was targeted. Consequently, she was taken to the NDLEA office at the airport, where her bags were searched thoroughly, and in the process, whitish powdery substances were found concealed inside 16 pieces of duvet contained in her two travel bags.
“Field test was conducted on the recovered substances and proved positive to cocaine and weighed 26.850kilograms. The suspect who is a hairstylist and based in Brazil was interviewed and she confessed to having agreed to smuggle the hard drug for the N2m only.
“Although she refused to disclose the names of her associates, she mentioned that she was asked to hand over the drugs to another person. The street value of this singular seizure is put at over N21billion.”