NDLEA discovers drug concealed in melon

By The Citizen

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has foiled a plot to smuggle 40.255kilogramme of methamphetamine to South Africa on board a South African Airline flight.  Vigilant personnel of the agency detected the consignment at the cargo section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.

A total of 41 parcels of methamphetamine were found hidden inside ground melon carefully packed with cosmetics and provisions.

According to the NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, who led the discovery, the drug was found in a bag of provisions and cosmetics.

'The drug was packaged in 41 parcels in white transparent polythene and hidden inside ground melon. Other items such as gala, biscuits, milk, body cream and food ingredients were found also in the package to divert attention.

'We have impounded a Hummer Jeep, Range Rover Jeep and a bus from suspected members of the cartel,' Hamza said.

The suspect, Ihedioha Chidi, who is a patent medicine dealer, said that he was given the sum of N450,000 to send the consignment.

'My childhood friend who lives in South Africa sent me N450,000 to send his goods to him in South Africa. It was while processing the shipment that NDLEA officers found drugs inside the goods and I was arrested,' the suspect said.

The suspect, a bachelor who lives in Okota, Lagos, hails from Imo State.

The Chairman of the Agency, Ahmadu Giade promised to rid the country of illicit drugs.

His words: 'We are working hard to halt the illicit production of methamphetamine in the country.'

'So far, five clandestine laboratories used for methamphetamine production have been detected in the country in the last two years. The Agency will continue to dislodge drug cartels by detecting production centres and intercepting all shipments of drugs. This seizure is a warning to drug barons that the battle line is drawn. More arrests shall be made in respect of the case and assets traceable to them shall be forfeited.'

The case is under investigation.