The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Sunday said 41 suspected drug traffickers were apprehended with 253.390 kilogrammes of narcotics with an estimated street value of N2.3 billion at the Lagos airport in the last six months.
The drugs were intercepted between January and June 2013, said Mitchell Ofoyeju, NDLEA Head of Public Affairs.
Those arrested include 39 males and two females, he said.
“The command also won 53 cases most of which were charged to court in 2012,” the agency said.
NDLEA Airport Commander, Hamza Umar, who gave the breakdown of the drugs said the bulk of the drugs was methamphetamine.
“In the first half of the year, the airport command successfully seized 253.390kg of various illegal drugs. Methamphetamine alone weighed 169.290kg. This was followed by cannabis with 47.230kg. Cocaine is 31.475kg and heroin 5.395kg. In all, 41 persons were arrested comprising 39 males and two females,” Umar said.
Further analysis showed that in the first quarter, 172.175kg of drugs were intercepted while 81.215kg were seized in second quarter.
Out of this total, 19.195kg were detected during inward screening operations while 234.195kg were seized during outward operations.
Seizures of methamphetamine and cannabis weighing 169.290kg and 47.230kg respectively were meant for export.
“It is pertinent to note that the airport seizure is a reflection of the fact that both methamphetamine and cannabis are locally produced in the country.
“The development has made the Honourable Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade to place an attractive incentive on the dismantling of any methamphetamine production cartel in the country. Giade directed the investigation department to beam its search light on the activities of illegal methamphetamine laboratories in the country,” NDLEA said in a statement.
In the past two years, the agency has discovered and decommissioned five clandestine Laboratories used for the production of methamphetamine in the country.
Four of the production laboratories were detected in Lagos while one was found in Nanka village, Anambra State. Three Bolivians and a Colombian are among persons arrested over suspicion of running the illicit drug laboratories. [PMNews]