A South Africa-based Nigerian has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA with 6.100kg substance suspected to be cocaine, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The 45-year-old suspect identified as Ozoh Hycenth Chukwuemeka, was apprehended during the outward clearance of passengers on board Arik Air to South Africa.
Speaking on the arrest, NDLEA Airport Commander, Hamza Umar, said the substance was concealed in a false compartment in his luggage.
When a search was conducted at the baggage checking desk at the departure hall, the substance was discovered to be cocaine, with street value estimated at N50 million.
While he was interrogated, the suspect, who claimed to have been living in South Africa for 10 years as a barber, admitted that the luggage was his. But he claimed the substance was given to him by a friend.
“A friend of mine in South Africa asked me to bring a bag containing chemicals from Nigeria to South Africa for $3,000. When I asked him if it was drug, he said it was just chemicals.
He paid for my return ticket. I never knew it was cocaine. I am only struggling to take care of myself with my barbing business back in South Africa.
If I had known that things will turn out this way, I would have rejected the proposal,” said the Anambra state-born suspect.
Reacting to the matter, NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade said his explanation was unacceptable, saying that ignorance was not an excuse in law, as he added that the suspect would be charged for unlawful exportation of cocaine at the end of investigation.