Another Hajj pilgrim caught with cocaine at Abuja airport

A  55-year-old female Muslim pilgrim to Saudi Arabia  has tested positive to narcotic ingestion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja. According to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the arrested pilgrim is from Kwara State.

The latest arrest came few weeks after three pilgrims from the same Kwara State were earlier in Saudi arrested for carrying substance identified as cocaine.

The suspect it was gathered, has so far excreted seventy-six (76) pellets of substances found to be cocaine.

At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, officials also intercepted a 37 year old father of three children for inserting seven wraps of cocaine weighing 355 grammes inside his anus.

Both suspects were going to Saudi and China where drug trafficking is punishable by death.

NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport, Hamisu Lawan said: the suspect, Binuyo was arrested during the outward screening of passengers on an Emirate flight to Medina through Dubai. She has so far excreted seventy-six (76) pellets of drugs that tested positive for cocaine. Meanwhile, she is still under observation until the drugs are completely expelled.”

The suspect who hails from Irepodun local government area of Kwara State, is married, blessed with three children and a trader at Dosumu market, Lagos.

In her statement, she said: “I am a trader in Lagos, married and have three children. I wanted to expand my cosmetic business but I have no money. My sponsor offered to foot my expenses to Saudi on pilgrimage. I was excited until I was asked to take drugs along. I wanted to decline but considering the offer of a million naira, I accepted. I swallowed the drugs in Lagos and took flight to Abuja on my way to Medina but I was caught in the process.”

The other suspect was apprehended during outward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight to Hong Kong, China through Addis Ababa.

NDLEA commander at the airport, Ahmadu Garba said that the suspect who hails from Imo State holds a dual citizenship of Nigeria and Mali.

According to Garba, the suspects Nigerian name is Okpalanem Henry while the name on his Malian international passport is Daura Sauduo.

Meanwhile, the last batch of 120 pilgrims of the 3,421 pilgrims from Niger State are expected to depart Medina for Mecca  today.

The batch arrived Medina last Saturday at about 3:20 am aboard Fly NAS Boeing 767-300ER with flight number 5533 and were all successfully cleared by the Saudi authorities without any security obstacle.

This was contained in a Press Statement signed by Mallam Habibu Wusishi, Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Niger State’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso a copy of which was made available to the Saturday Tribune on Friday in Minna.