The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency says it has apprehended a 23-year-old Brazilian, Da Silva Mailson Mario, with a suitcase of 7.2 kilogrammes of cocaine packaged as chocolate sweets.
In a press statement made available to PUNCH HealthWise and signed by NAFDAC spokesman, Jonah Achema, the foreigner was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline ET 911 which originated from Brazil en-route Addis Ababa to Abuja.
Achema said the trick was one of the two new methods adopted by drug traffickers to evade arrest.
“The new methods were uncovered in two separate operations at the Airport, leading to the seizure of 14.4 kilogrammes of cocaine.
“In the first operation, the NDLEA Airport Command intercepted a consignment of four packets of chocolate sweets of white substances which tested positive to cocaine, weighing 7.2 kilogrammes,” he said.
According to the agency, Mario, who was provided with an interpreter, declined to answer questions by NDLEA officials during interrogation.
“However, he was only inquisitive about the jail terms his alleged offence might attract in Nigeria.
“The second operation, on the other hand, involved a 39-year-old Nigerian, Elechi Adendu Kingsley, who was also arrested with a bag containing cellophane bags during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight ET 911,” he said.
Achema said the agency uncovered 12 parcels of cellophane wrappers with whitish substances which also tested positive to cocaine, weighing another 7.2 kilogrammes.
The NDLEA public affairs officer stated that Kingsley, an indigene of Umulolo Local Government Area of Imo State who has been living in Brazil for the past 13 years, was remorseful and said he would not blame anybody for his involvement.
“Kingsley said he was an adult who was fully aware of what he was going into. He agreed that someone gave him the narcotic to deliver.
“He claimed that he was promised N3m upon safe delivery of the drugs to somebody here in Nigeria,” he said.
Continuing, Achema said Kingsley was in Nigeria preparatory to his wedding in January, 2021.
The commander of Abuja Airport NDLEA Command, Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, said the new modes of drugs concealment showed that illegal drug merchants would stop at nothing to achieve their aim.
“There is no underestimating the imagination of these drug merchants.
“What is expected of us is not only to counter their devices, but to also think ahead of them,” he said.
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