A 32-year old man, Francis Bawaba, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for smuggling into the country 364 wraps of high- grade Brazilian cocaine, weighing 6.490kg and valued at N72m.
The NDLEA Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said on Monday that the seizure was made at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while the suspect was arrested during the inward screening of passengers on an Etihad flight.
The wraps of cocaine were said to have been prepared for ingestion and hidden inside Bawaba’s hand luggage.
Confirming the arrest, NDLEA Lagos Airport Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, said, “Our investigation has revealed that the suspect took off from Malpensa, Milan. Bawaba picked up the drug while on transit at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“He has given us very useful information that we are already working on.”
Bawaba, who lamented the consequence of his action on his pregnant wife and kids said, “This is my first time of smuggling drugs. I was lured with an offer of N3.3m.
“I formerly worked in construction sites in Madrid where I was based; that was how I earned a living.
“Since the global economic meltdown, it has been difficult securing a job. I collected the drug while at Abu Dhabi on my way from Milan. It never occurred to me that I could be caught in Nigeria.”
The suspect said he had planned to invest the sum he was promised, N3.3m, in a business venture which he did not state.
The father of two added, “I have been unable to eat since my arrest because I don’t know how my pregnant wife and kids will cope without my financial support.”