A commercial tricycle rider in Owerri and an Abuja based trader have been apprehended by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos in connection with unlawful importation of 6.390kg of substances that tested positive for heroin. One of the suspected traffickers was caught on arrival from Kigali, Rwanda while the other was nabbed on arrival from Nairobi, Kenya.
The drug with an estimated street value of five hundred and seventy-five (575) million naira was hidden in their luggage.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba gave the names of the suspects as Egwin Cajetan Chinedu, 32 caught with 3.900kg of heroin and King Sunday, 38, found in possession of 2.490kg of heroin.
According to Ahmadu, “Egwin arrived from Kigali on Rwand Airline flight while King Sunday imported the drug found on him from Nairobi during inward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight. Both suspects are being investigated”.
Preliminary investigation by the Agency however, indicated that drug trafficking cartels are gradually changing their mode of operation by turning to African countries in sourcing narcotic drugs like heroin. Both suspects were also recruited for a fee to import the drugs into the country.
Egwin Cajetan Chinedu who is not married said that he needed money to repair his commercial tricycle while King Sunday who left his wife after four days of marriage on the guise of a business trip said that he needed money for his honeymoon and business.
Egwin Cajetan, a commercial tricycle rider in Owerri the Imo State capital told investigators that he needed money to change the engine of his tricycle.
“The engine of my tricycle which is my only source of livelihood is bad. While I was looking for money to fix it, I was introduced to the man that promised to pay me the sum of four hundred thousand (400,000) naira on the condition that I will bring his drug from Kigali. I accepted the offer because nobody was willing to help me. I dropped out of school in Junior Secondary class two. Apart from the repairs, my rent is due and my landlord had been asking for his money” Egwin stated.
King Sunday lamented his involvement in drug trafficking stating that he erroneously took the decision to smuggle drugs.
“I erroneously took the decision to smuggle drugs barely four days after my marriage. I was in need of money for my honeymoon and also for my business but I should not have involved myself in drug trafficking. My thinking was that I could smuggle the drug from Nairobi in two days without my wife knowing that I travelled out of the country. All my life, I have been upright in my transactions but this is a huge mistake and I regret my action” King stated.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Col Muhammad Abdallah (retd) expressed satisfaction with the arrest stressing that drug traffickers are now turning to African countries to smuggle heroin that is produced in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand and other far away countries.
“The Agency successfully foiled their plan with the arrest and seizure of the drugs. Drug cartels thought it would be easy to smuggle the drugs into the country since heroin is not produced in Africa but I am happy that we are thinking far ahead of them. The Agency will continue to maintain this lead until they are completely dislodged”, Abdallah stated.
The suspects will be arraigned soon.