NDLEA officials at the screening section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos were last week stunned at the discovery of 66 wraps of narcotics testing positive for methamphetamine.
Mande Bala, 48, was immediately arrested by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) shortly before she was due to board a Kenyan Airways flight to Nairobi on the 15th of June.
The NDLEA Commander at the airport, Hamza Umar, confirmed the arrest. He said, “The quantity of drugs that Bala had inserted in her private part was so much that it affected her gait, drawing the attention of the NDLEA officials. No suspect has ever inserted such a large quantity of drugs in the country. Usually, cases of insertion are not more than 300g. The discovery was shocking.”
CRIME DIGEST gathered that in all, the 66 wraps of methamphetamine expelled from Bala’s private part weighed 1kg.
Bala, who claimed to be a widow and mother of three, told CRIME DIGEST that she was pushed to trafficking in drugs in order to raise school fees for her children. She said, “I am a widow; my husband died in 2007. I have got three children to take care of. I need N45,000 to pay some fees for my child and I also had to take care of my rent because I have a quit notice to leave my house in July. I was actually supposed to swallow the drugs but I was too scared to do so.
“I then decided on my own to hide them instead in my private parts because I was scared I would die if I ingested the drugs. I have heard such things happen. Although it was difficult for me to walk, I had to do my best because there is no one else to take care of my children.”
In his reaction, the chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, described the incident as disturbing. “Apart from the quantity of drugs caught with her, her route is a new development in drug trafficking. Drug barons now adopt a relay approach to drug trafficking. They wanted to use her to take the drug to another African country before using an indigene of that country to take the drug to other continents, where the profit is higher. We are not oblivious of their moves and we are prepared to nip them in the bud,” he said.
According to the agency, no suspect has ever inserted such a large quantity of drugs in her private part since the establishment of the NDLEA in 1989. The suspect, who is a graduate of accounting from a South-West university, lives at Ijoko in Ogun State and is a native of Lagos Island in Lagos State. She will be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.