One week to the resumption of international flights from the Lagos airport, the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) MMIA has announced that it is embarking on combing of the terminal for drugs hidden in and around the terminal.
The NDLEA airport commander, Mr Ahmadu Garba in a chat with some journalists hinted that about six sniffer dogs would be deployed for the exercise and replaced with another set after some minutes for effective coverage.
His words: “We have enough dogs for the agency at a particular time maybe we may be deploying 5 or 6, we will be alternating the dogs at a certain period of time, the handlers are experts, when they bring them out for a certain number of minutes, then they take them back and replace them.”
While insisting that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that traffickers do not use this pandemic period to facilitate drugs out of the country through the Lagos airport, Ahmadu said: “We want to use the canine unit to try and comb the nooks and crannies of the airport to see if things were hidden during the time of inactivity as it might have afforded some people to try some things so we want to make sure we start on a good note and make things have been taken care of so we want to see what we can do to comb the airport.
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“Now there is an extension of a week that will give us more time to improve on what we started and build on what we have done and I think to that extent we are ready by the time operations will commence definitely results will start coming in.”
On the combing of the airport vicinity for drugs which he said would start from the basement and departure areas of the terminal building, the anti-narcotics chief declared: “The combing by NDLEA will be starting with the baggage area, there are some nooks and crannies around the departure hall upstairs basically these are the most important areas, walkways downstairs around the arrival, all these hidden areas, these are areas I think we need to move around, let them sniff and see if there is something hidden if there is nothing, then we are good to go and if there is something we will see what we can do about it.”
Ahmadu said the command was fully prepared for the commencement of international flight revealing, that the officers of the command have been undergoing comprehensive training on the COVID 19 protocols by its international partners.
The NDLEA commander said with the training, the officers would be more confident and more knowledgeable in the discharge of their duties especially in handling passengers with the COVID 19 symptoms even as he assured that officers of the NDLEA airport command would follow whatever the COVID 19 protocols entailed.
Revealing how during the lockdown to date some drug traffickers wanted to catch in on the period to bring in drugs but were apprehended, Ahmadu added: “Drugs seized include Cocaine 9.873, psychotropic substances 66.488, ephedrine 3, cannabinol product 1277.4, cannabis 26.760 and methamphetamine 1.640, totalling 1385.661.
From April to date, we made an arrest of 19 suspected traffickers, 17 males and 2 females.
“The last arrest of March was made on the last flight before the lockdown of the airport, we arrest 4 traffickers with 4 seizures, April, none, May 5 arrest and 2 seizures, June 6 arrest and 3 seizures, July 3 arrest and 2 seizures and August 1 arrest and 1 seizure.”
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