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NDLEA and Fight against Drug Trafficking in Airports

Drug traffickers have become increasingly creative in their attempt to evade security officers at airports.

Despite the lull in air travel activities, traffickers who perhaps think security officials will let down their guard have had course to regret this attempt after being caught.

Efforts of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has paid off in foiling traffickers activities in three International airports in the country.

The mission of the traffickers is to seamlessly facilitate the movement of hard drugs comprising cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, cannaibis sativa, ephedrine, tramadol, psychotropic substances among others through air, land and sea borders to sellers, distributors and then the end users.

This business is considered to be a major source of revenue for organised crime groups, many of whom are involved in other forms of serious crime such as firearms, modern slavery and immigration crime.

Efforts to minimise to the barest, drug trafficking through the nation’s airports are said to be achieving a lot of successes with many arrests and convictions.

At Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, last year alone 60 suspected traffickers were apprehended with over 3,413kgs of illicit drugs. NDLEA, Lagos airport was able to secure 44 convictions.

Undeterred, earlier this year till date 13 traffickers have been arrested with different illicit drugs of over 829kgs.

NDLEA Lagos airport Commander, Ahmadu Garba says their mode of concealment was novel, which could be ingestion, force bottom, in foodstuff, packaged shirts among others.
“Drug trafficking is very, very dynamic and it is something that change, people use a lot of things to hide the drugs”.

The report from the Abuja International airport is not different as the NDLEA Commander there, Kabiru Sani says September 2020 till date, 8 suspected traffickers were arrested with 66.078kgs of drugs. “Among the 8 suspects we arrested one of them ingested the drug so we had to put him under observation”.

At the Mallam Aminu Kano International airport, Kano, from 2020 till date 3 suspects two males and a female have been arrested and a seizure of 282kg of hard drugs recorded.

The suspected traffickers after being caught often pretend not to know the content of their bags allegedly given them by friends for family members in Nigeria.

Director Media and Advocacy NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi says, the agency was not only committed to frustrating all trafficking attempts through the airports but also to fish out the barons behind the illicit trade.

He stated that they were working in partnership with international airlines to ensure that suspected traffickers at the inward and outward clearance of passengers were picked up.

“And that’s why most times when some people come in with the hope that they can bring drugs into the country we already know who they are ahead of their arrive, so we try as much as possible to profile them, screen them and that is why we have been able to seize drugs from them and get them arrested”.

Mr. Babafemi said, the agency under
Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), as Chairman was poised to ensuring officers were adequately trained and equipped in discharging their assigned duties.

Nosa Aituamen

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