India-bound Passenger Vomits, Excretes 80 Wraps of Cocaine at Lagos Airport

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a Delhi, India-bound passenger, Freeman Charles Ogbonna at the screening point of terminal 2 of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja, Lagos State.

According to a statement issued by the Director, Media and Advocacy of NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi on Sunday, Ogbonna was nabbed on Sunday, March 31 for ingesting 80 wraps of cocaine while attempting to board his flight to Delhi, India via Doha on Qatar Airways.

The anti-narcotic agency said that Ogbonna was with a Liberian international passport, bearing the name; Carr Bismark and was taken for body scan, which tested positive for ingestion of illicit drugs.

“Preliminary checks revealed his real identity as Freeman Charles Ogbonna and was subsequently placed under observation in NDLEA custody where he started to manifest signs of discomfort.

“Obviously choked by the volume of illicit drugs in his stomach and another substance taken to hold back excretion, the suspect soon began to retch before starting to vomit and excrete wraps of cocaine he ingested almost simultaneously,” NDLEA stated.

The law enforcement agency revealed that the suspect claimed that he was recruited into drug trafficking by one of his relatives – and later passed out a total of 80 wraps of cocaine weighing 889 grams through his mouth and anus over a period of four days.

“The great risk that almost took his life notwithstanding, Ogbonna said he was given the drugs to swallow at a hotel in Ipodo area of Ikeja with a promise to reward him with N300,000 cash if he successfully delivers the consignment in India.”

In a related development, NDLEA officers at the Lagos airport on Wednesday, April 3 intercepted ‘a drug mule’, Imran Taofeek Olalekan at Gate C departure of terminal 1 travelling to Oman with a check-in luggage and a backpack.

The agency disclosed that when his check-in bag and backpack were subjected to thorough search, its officers discovered a false bottom concealment of drugs in the check-in luggage and in the walls of the backpack.

Consequently, the officers swiftly turned attention to a man who accompanied the suspect to the airport – and was later identified as Ishola Isiaka Olalekan who recruited the trafficker.

“Imran Taofeek Olalekan said he returned from Dubai some years ago but still has a valid residence permit on his old passport. He claimed he was promised ₦1,500,000 if he successfully delivers the consignment in Oman, while his recruiter, Ishola was to be paid N200,000.

“Curiously, when the two bags were completely unpacked at the NDLEA office, a charm was found in one of the bags while another one was found on the drug mule who confessed that he traveled to Ibadan, Oyo State to meet with an ‘Alfa’ that prepared the charm for him to ensure he was not caught during the trip.

“Another charm was also found on the intermediary, Ishola Isiaka Olalekan who accompanied Taofeek to the departure area of the airport. Ishola claimed he procured the charms for the sum of ₦70,000,” NDLEA said.

Similarly, NDLEA operatives at the Tincan seaport in Lagos on Wednesday, April 3 seized 2,144 parcels of Colorado, a synthetic strain of cannabis weighing of 1,072kg.

NDLEA noted that the seizure was made during a joint examination with Customs Service and other stakeholders of a container marked GAOU 6699215 coming from Montreal, but originated from Toronto, Canada.

“The drugs packed in 46 jumbo bags were found concealed in used 2009 Lexus RX 350, 2011 Toyota Sienna, and 2009 Lexus ES 350 as well as used engines, automobile doors, tyres, and used household goods as well as big drums loaded into the container.”

Elsewhere (in Kano), a 48-year-old suspect, Gidado Sani who jumped the bail granted him by a Federal High Court in Kano on drug offence charges, was on Friday, April 5 re-arrested in Sharada area of the state with 85 blocks of cannabis weighing 50.1kg.

NDLEA operatives in Ogun State on Thursday, April 4 also apprehended another suspect named Wasiu Jimoh, during a raid operation at Ilese Awo, with 84 parcels (62kg) of cannabis sativa.

Meanwhile, operatives in Lagos on Wednesday, April 3 captured a suspect, Emeka Umeh with 506.2kg cannabis at Igbede, Ojo area of the state; while another suspect, Victor Okeke was nabbed on Friday, April 5 at Igbo Elerin, Ojo, with 142 grams of cannabis sativa and 175 litres of skuchies recovered from him.

“Attempt by 35-year-old Ifeanyi Udogwu to smuggle 1.5kg cocaine concealed in music speakers from Lagos through Aba, Abia State to his uncle, Ifeanyi Udogwu based in Cameroon was thwarted on Wednesday 3rd April when NDLEA officers working in collaboration with transport company, Young Shall Grow Motors, arrested him.”

NDLEA stressed that its Commands across the country balanced their drug supply reduction operations with War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaigns to schools, markets, motor parks, worship centres and communities.

Some of campaigns include: WADA sensitisation lecture for commercial drivers at the Osun State Transport Management System Complex, Osogbo; Youths of Assembly of God Church, Ibereko, Badagry, Lagos; and Drivers at Sunny Motor Park, Aroma, Awka, Anambra State, among others.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa commended the excellent works of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Tincan, Ogun, Kano and Lagos Commands of its agency in the past week.

Gen. Marwa urged them and their compatriots across the country to remain vigilant and intensify their offensive action against drug cartels and their WADA advocacy campaign in every community nationwide.


Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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