Attempt by a Nigerian living in Madrid, Spain to earn 3.3 million naira for smuggling 6.490kg of high-grade Brazilian cocaine has been nipped in the bud by anti-narcotic officials. This arrest and seizure was made by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos at the weekend. The 364 wraps of cocaine prepared for ingestion and hidden inside his hand luggage is valued at 72 million naira. Officials detected the drug during the inward screening of passengers on an Etihad flight.
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NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport, Mr. Hamza Umar gave the name of the 32 year-old suspect as Francis Bawaba. “Our investigation has revealed that the suspect took off from Malpensa, Milan and collected the drug while on transit at Abudabi. He had given us very useful information that we are already working on” Hamza stated.
According to the suspect, his concern is how his pregnant wife and two children will cope in his absence. “This is my first time of smuggling drugs and I was lured with an offer of 3.3 million naira. I used to work in construction sites in Madrid to earn a living but it has been difficult securing a job since the global economic melt-down. I collected the drug while on transit at Abudabi on my way from Milan. I never knew that I will be caught here in Nigeria. My plan was to invest the 3.3 million naira in business. Since my arrest I have been unable to eat because I do not know how my pregnant wife and two kids will cope without my financial support” Francis who hails from Imo State lamented.
Speaking on the frequent arrests by the Agency, the Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade assured culprits of maximum penalty for drug trafficking offences. “The essence of punishment is to correct the offender and deter people from indulging in a crime. Drug trafficking demands stiffer punishment to serve as deterrence because of the high profit it generates. The Agency will continue to ensure that the appropriate punishment is enforced at all times. Stakeholders in the criminal justice system must understand that stringent punishment is crucial to a sustainable victory in the anti-narcotic campaign” Giade stated.
The suspect will soon be charged to court.