Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are interrogating a South African-based evangelist over 165kgs of narcotics drugs seized at Apapa Seaport, Lagos, with an estimated street value put at N1.4 billion.
Officers traced the illicit consignment to a 52-year old man, John Vincent Arinze, who claimed to be an evangelist and was arrested in his hotel room in Lagos.
The 92kgs of methamphetamine and 73kgs of ephedrine were detected inside two containers of foodstuff meant for export to South Africa.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Colonel Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) said that the seizure had significant influence on the campaign against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
He said: “This is a product of careful planning and meticulous tracking of narcotic drugs movement. The consignments were closely monitored by our undercover agents and intercepted at Apapa Seaport, Lagos, following the detection of narcotics by NDLEA sniffer dogs during screening operation. This will definitely have a positive influence on Nigeria’s drug control efforts”.
The drugs were hidden inside packs of melon concealed in foodstuff and cosmetics such as gari (cassava flakes), noodles, Knorr and Maggi food seasoning, yam powder, Malt drinks, pepper, milk, herbal hair cream and Golden Morn cereals. Other items in the container are Damatol hair cream, bags of melon, kegs of palm oil, beans, biscuits, sardine and cartons of Orijin bitters.
During examination of the containers marked MSKU 388274-1 and MSKU 424717-0, anti-narcotic officials detected 20kg of Methamphetamine and 50kg of Ephedrine inside the first container and 72Kg of Methamphetamine and 23Kg of Ephedrine in the second container. The total weight of the drugs is 165kgs.
The suspect who hails from Ara village, Nise in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State and had lived in South Africa for over a decade, accepted ownership of the illicit shipment.