ABUJA, Nigeria – The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has foiled an attempt by a Nigerian, Okorie Cyprian Raymond, to smuggle cocaine into the country.
Okorie was apprehended at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight 911 from Sao Paulo, Brazil en-route Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In a statement on Thursday, Jonah Achema, NDLEA spokesman, said the drug 12.05 kilograms drug was packed in drink sachets of pineapple, lemon flavour, and concealed in a suitcase.
The suspect had collected his luggage upon arrival and proceeded to NDLEA screening point where it was detected that one of his bags was stuffed.
Raymond confessed that the drug was given to him by one Uche whom he met in Church in Brazil about three months ago through a friend.
Okorie, 38, said Uche overheard him speak with his friend about his impending trip to Nigeria.
“I actually did not have knowledge of what is in the bag. Oga Uche brought the suitcase to me at the airport just an hour before the flight take-off. This short interval did not give me the opportunity to scrutinize the bag”, he claimed.
The school certificate holder has been a resident of Sao Paulo since 2015 where he worked as a technician in brass installation centre.
“I had to leave my bicycle spare-parts business in Nigeria for greener pastures in the USA but opted to travel through Brazil, Mexico to America. My journey was aborted in Mexico from where I was returned to Brazil where I was granted asylum.”
Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, NDLEA Commander, Abuja Airport, confirmed that the seizure is one of the highest quantities seized in recent times.
“We promise all travellers who involve themselves in drug trafficking that they will not escape our dragnet. We will continue to sustain our vigilance”, Tsakuwa vowed.