Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, have intercepted travellers’ cheques in different foreign currencies with a total value of over N1.1 billion.
A statement yesterday, by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, revealed, “Travellers’ cheques in different foreign currencies with a total value of N1, 157, 670,469.92 have been intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.”
Babafemi disclosed that a suspect, Oguma Uchenna, was arrested in connection with an attempt to export the cheques, which he said were neatly concealed inside four bound hardcover books disguised as academic project literatures, to the United Kingdom.
He said the financial instruments suspected to be counterfeits were discovered last Wednesday at the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport during cargo examination of some consignments meant for exportation to the UK on a cargo flight.
Babafemi disclosed that a breakdown of the cheques showed they had monetary values of $287, 623.31; $1,456,300 and €1,297,800.
He said also at the Lagos airport, operatives of NDLEA foiled attempts by drug traffickers to smuggle into Nigeria 10.89 kilogrammes of cocaine through a Qatar Airways flight. He said the illicit drug was hidden in seven children’s duvets packed in an unaccompanied bag from Brazil.
According to him, raid operations in Kaduna, Ondo and Akwa Ibom states led to the seizure of about 2,000 kilogrammes of tramadol, codeine, cannabis and heroin.
In Ondo State, 401 kilogrammes of cannabis were recovered and two suspects – Julius Dapo, 56, and Emeka Ikebuaku, 32 – were arrested at Ipele forest in Owo area on Sunday 24th April.
On same day, a transborder drug trafficker, Chigbo Chinonye, 42, was arrested with amphetamine weighing 2.5 kilogrammes and heroin weighing 0.5 kilogramme during a stop and search operation conducted along Oron- Ibaka road, on his way to Cameroon. He was said to have concealed the drugs using false bottom packaging.
In Kaduna, also, Babafemi revealed that a total of 47 cartons of suspected fake tramadol, comprising 2,350,000 tablets, weighing 1222 kilogrammes were seized in Zaria on Monday, April 25, while a dealer, Chinedu Asogwa, was arrested the following day, April 26, along Abuja-Kaduna express road, with 2919 bottles of cough syrup with codeine, measuring 291.9 litres with a gross weight of 396 kilogrammes.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd.) commended the officers and men of MMIA, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, and Kaduna commands of the agency for the seizures and arrests in the past week. He charged the officers and their compatriots across the country to remain steadfast and vigilant in their areas of responsibility.
Culled from THISDAY