The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA ), has smashed a hotel allegedly used as a hideout by suspected drug syndicates in Lagos State.
The NDLEA said two suspected barons namely Chidubem Aguezeala and Stanley Odidiazor used the base to traffic hard drugs to China.
It was learnt that Aguezeala, who claimed to be a customs officer, and Odidiazor were arrested following a tip-off by a suspected smuggler, Emmanuel Obi, who was intercepted by the agency’s operatives attached to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
About 1.2 kilogrammes of heroin was said to have been recovered from him at the airport.
Two friends, Henry Ezeocha and Isaac Tochukwu, who wanted to smuggle 34.6 kg of cannabis and heroin, were rounded up along with Obi.
Aguezeala who had claimed to be a serving customs officer at the Tin Can port was however discovered to be an impersonator after an inquiry of his purported service number from the customs command.
The suspect was said to have conspired with Odidiazor to sponsor Obi’s trip to China . Obi said he was promised $4,000 to smuggle heroin to China.
“I was given 100 wraps of heroin by Stanley Odidiazor to swallow. I was able to swallow 68 wraps because it was my first time. They also promised to pay me $4,000, but unfortunately the drug was detected.”
Tochukwu, however, said he did not know he was smuggling drugs until he was arrested.
The NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Mr. Hamza Umar, confirmed the arrests.
He said, “Our men have smashed a drug trafficking hideout in a hotel in Lagos. They specialised in smuggling drugs to China. We also prevented the exportation of 34.6kg of cannabis and 1.2kg of heroin to China. The arrests and seizures took place at the MMIA, Lagos, while other accomplices were apprehended during a follow-up operation.”
The Chairman of the agency, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, while applauding the operations, described the action of the drug couriers as worrisome.
“It is sad that barely a week after two Nigerians were executed in Indonesia for drug trafficking, these suspects are taking narcotics to China where drug offenders are also liable to capital punishment,” he said.