The National Drug Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) on Monday announced that it’s made its largest cocaine seizure so far after it intercepted 21.9kg of cocaine at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
This was contained during a statement signed by the NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr. Kabir Tsakuwa, and therefore the agency’s Spokesman, Deputy Commander of Narcotics (DCN) Jonah Achema.
Both officers said the substance was concealed in two unclaimed suite cases discovered after the arrival of Ethiopian Airline, ET 910 in Abuja from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to the statement, vigilant officers of the Command became suspicious upon noticing that the 2 briefcases were abandoned on the conveyer belt with no passenger claiming them during the inward clearance of the flight.
Tsakuwa, the airport commander then directed the officers to stay an eye fixed on the suitcases and informed the Airline and its handlers of NDLEA’s interest within the luggage.
Days after the bags weren’t claimed, Tsakuwa said they formally contacted the station Manager of Ethiopian Airline and therefore the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO Aviance) indicating the suspicion of the agency on the suitcases.
“I placed an order that NDLEA should be invited before the bags would be released to the owner or if the bags would be returned to the purpose of embarkation.
“After many weeks of no claim by the owners, we informed the Airline on the necessity for an inquiry to be conducted on the unclaimed suitcases.
“The Airline officials, including the luggage handler alongside the Department of State Services, Aviation Security and Nigeria Bureau of Customs were invited to NDLEA Office where the search was conducted.
In the first suitcase, three blankets were acknowledged of which two contained parcel of transparent nylon which housed whitish substances suspected to be hard drugs.
Field test on the substance proved positive for cocaine and weighed 10.750kg.
“The second unclaimed suitcase contained twenty-two packet shirts, one parcel of the drug was concealed in each of the shirts and covered with a blue carbon-containing transparent nylon.
“The substance was also field-tested and proved positive for cocaine and weighed 11.150KG. The second suitcase had a baggage tag with the name Nze Lusaka U. The drug seized made a complete of 21.9kg,” he said.
The command said an investigation was still ongoing and therefore the Command was liaising with Ethiopian Airlines to urge more information to unravel the identity of the couriers.