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NDLEA uncovers large quantity of illicit drugs inside industrial filter

By The Citizen
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NARCOTIC agents of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have apprehended a customs clearing and forwarding agent over his plan to export 72.320kg of methamphetamine worth about N1.8 billion in the international market.

The seizure, which is the single highest recorded since January, was made at the cargo section of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

A total of 36 parcels of methamphetamine hidden inside the filters were meant for export to Mozambique in a South African airline flight.

NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport Mr. Hamza Umar, who led a team of agents that made the breakthrough, said that the mode of concealment was faultless and smart.

'If not for the training we have and the commitment of our officers, it would have been difficult to detect the drugs because the mode of concealment is faultless. You need to go the extra mile to detect the drugs,' Hamza stated.

The suspect, Mr. Tony Mordi said that he was given only N228, 000 by his client to send the consignment to Mozambique.

According to him: 'I am a licensed customs clearing and forwarding agent. One of my customers called me from Mozambique requesting that I should handle the shipment of his consignment. I was given only N228, 000 for the shipment. I want my wife to understand and help in taking good care of our kids'.

The Chairman of the Agency, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, who described the seizure as the single largest since January 2013 said that the Agency would prosecute any agent caught clearing narcotics.

'This is the single largest seizure of methamphetamine since the year began. We have in the past arrested licensed clearing agents in connection with narcotics. This is a huge seizure considering the monetary value and it is also a threat to security. The Agency is working hard to incapacitate drug syndicates and will not hesitate to prosecute any agent found wanting in the discharge of their professional duties,' Giade said.

In the past two years, the agency has uncovered five clandestine laboratories in Nigeria, where methamphetamine is produced. The factories have been closed down and most members of the cartel are being prosecuted.

The suspect, who hails from Delta State, is married with four children and will soon be charged to court.