The renewed efforts of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to drastically reduce drug trafficking activities in and out of the country through the nation’s airports has recorded a boost at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA), as the Lagos airport command of the agency in 2019 arrested 101 suspected drug traffickers consisting of 87 males and 14 females with a total seizures/cases of 76.
The NDLEA Commander, Garba Ahmadu, who declared this at a news conference yesterday in Lagos, said that in terms of percentage, that 86.14% of those arrested were males while the remaining 13.86% were the females.
Ahmadu who said there was an increase in the number of arrests in 2019 compared to 93 persons arrested in 2018, further stated: “The record of arrest in the year under review indicates that there is an increase in the number of persons arrested from 93 persons in 2018 to 101 persons 2019 showing 8.6% increase.”
According to Ahmadu, the number of seizures/cases recorded in the year under review has also increased to 76 seizures from 73 in the previous year, showing an increase of 4.11%.
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His words: Summary of the drug seized shown that cocaine accounted for 9.03% of total drugs seized, heroin 5.75%, cannabis Sativa 44.71%, methamphetamine 24.93%, ephedrine 7.45% and other psychotropic substances 8.13%. Cocaine 34.109, Heroin 21.72, cannabis Sativa 168.922, methamphetamine 94.18, Ephedrine 28.14, psychotropic substances 31.99kg ( Tramadol and Diazepam) 30.450.”
The total kilograms of drug seized according to Ahmadu was 377.801 as against 5377.125kg recorded in 2018 showing an annual decrease of 92.97%.
The mode of concealment according to Ahmadu include; bag and baggage packing, ingestion and anal insertion, baggage was 80% while the others were 14% even as he noted that the frequently flown airlines by traffickers in 2019 were Ethiopian and South African airways both coming in and going out.
While promising that the officers of the agency would not relax on their oars in ensuring that illicit drug trafficking through the MMIA, in particular, was reduced to the barest minimum, the NDLEA Boss also emphasised that training and retraining of its officers have been yielding positive results, saying this would be sustained this year.