Eagle-eyed operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have aborted a plot to export 9.2kg of methamphetamine hidden inside palm oil to South Africa.
The consignment was discovered during screening of cargo on a South African Airline flight at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.
A taxi driver, who brought the consignment, has been arrested by officials of the anti-narcotic agency.
Commander of NDLEA at the Lagos Airport, Mr Hamza Umar, while confirming the arrest gave the name of the taxi driver as Okwuokei Peter.
“A taxi driver by name Okwuokei Peter has been arrested for attempting to export 9.2kg of methamphetamine to South Africa. The drug was packed in forty-one (41) parcels and hidden inside a gallon containing palm oil”, Hamza stated.
The suspect in his confessional statement said that he was given the gallon of palm oil to deliver to one his regular passengers without knowledge that it contained illegal substance.
In his words, “One of my regular passengers asked me to send the gallon of oil to him. I thought I was doing him a favour but little did I know that it will land me in a big trouble. He called me and asked me to collect a gallon of palm oil from somebody. When I got to the estate junction as directed by him, a young man walked up to me and asked if I am Peter, I said yes then he gave me the gallon of sealed palm oil. At the airport, it was found to contain drugs during search. In fact, I am speechless, confused and frustrated”.
The suspect, an indigene of Delta State, lives in Lagos with his wife and four children.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade implored members of the public against involving themselves in drug trafficking.
“Members of the public are advised in their interest to shun drug trafficking. Ignorance is not an excuse under the Act. If you are not sure that consignment is drug-free, then do not take it for export otherwise you are liable. People must be cautious”, Giade stated.
If convicted, the suspect risks being sentenced to life imprisonment.