NDLEA nabs ex-footballer, Brazilian returnee for cocaine trafficking

October 3, 2022
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•Arrests physically challenged drug dealer in Ogun, Turkey-bound businesswoman, two Malians for attempt to export Akuskura

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have arrested an ex-footballer, Okafor Emmanuel Junior at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, on his arrival from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on board an Ethiopian airlines flight with 1.40kg crack cocaine concealed in his bags.

The 33-year-old indigene of Abia State was arrested on Monday, September 26,  after anti-narcotic officers discovered he concealed the illicit substance in the handles of his bags and padded the top edges of same with the class A drug.

NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, in a statement yesterday, said during preliminary interview, Okafor disclosed that he was an ex-footballer with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu FC, where he played for four seasons,  before leaving for Sri Lanka in 2014.

According to  Babafemi, the suspect  further stated that he moved to Brazil from Sri Lanka after playing for two seasons but could not advance his football career in Brazil due to lack of official documents.

Another Brazilian returnee, Ibeh Chinedu Damian, was arrested same day upon his arrival at the Lagos airport from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Ethiopian airlines flight.

Babafemi said Ibeh, who hails from Imo State, was found to have concealed 3.20kg black cocaine, popularly known as ‘Lucci’ in false bottoms of his two bags.

In his statement, he said he was to be paid N3.1million on successful delivery of the drug in Nigeria.

In the same vein, NDLEA operatives thwarted an attempt by a 32-year-old businesswoman, Mrs. Pamela Odin to traffic 2.150kg tablets of rohypnol through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, to Istanbul, Turkey.

The mother of one was arrested on Friday, September 23, while attempting to board a Turkish airline flight with the drug concealed inside pepper and packed among foodstuff.

The indigene of Delta State said she operates a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey, but came to Nigeria to see her relatives and buy food items for her restaurant business.

Demoele and Maliki

MEANWHILE, two Malians: Mohammed Demoele, 38 and Coulibaly Maliki, 56, have been arrested by officers of the Marine Unit of NDLEA at Ebute Ero jetty in Lagos for attempting to export 34.2kg bottles of new psychoactive substance, Akuskura to Mali through Cotonou, Benin Republic.

In Taraba State, operatives on Thursday, September 29, intercepted 100 compressed blocks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 73.500kg, concealed inside animal feeds, while their counterparts in Ogun State on Saturday, October 1, arrested a physically challenged drug dealer, Abdulraham Mohammed, with 104kg of compressed Cannabis Sativa recovered from him.

Another suspect, Ms. Safiya Bello, was arrested in the Sagamu area of the state with 27kg of the psychotropic substance.

The Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended the officers and men of Seaports Operations, MMIA, Ogun, and Taraba Commands for their resilience.

He charged them and others across the country to intensify ongoing offensive action against drug cartels and traffickers wherever they may be located in any part of Nigeria.

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