OFFICIALS National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a 25-year-old trader, Nzewi Lotanna, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos for attempting to smuggle 1.630kg of cocaine out of Nigeria to Istanbul, Turkey.
According to a statement made available to our correspondent on Friday by NDLEA’s Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, the suspect, who tested positive to drug ingestion during the outward screening of Turkish airline passengers, excreted 92 wraps of cocaine.
NDLEA Commander at the airport, Mamza Umar, said, “We placed the suspect under close observation, and in the process, he excreted 92 pieces of white powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine weighing 1.630kg.”
Lotanna, who hails from Anambra State, said he was enticed by the $7,000 (N1,141,000) offered to him by his sponsors and he could not turn down the offer because he saw it as a lifeline. “I began to sell female dresses, shoes and hand bags to earn a living when I could not go beyond primary education due to lack of funds.
“At a point, I could no longer pay my rent due to poor business patronage, life was so difficult to the extent that I became a destitute. This was my condition when somebody told me he would pay me the sum of $7,000 if only I can traffic cocaine,” he said.
NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, said the agency would remain vigilant. “Arrest and prosecution are part of our strategies in curtailing the criminal act of drug trafficking. The suspect will be charged to court in line with the provisions of the NDLEA Act,”