The Lagos State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has released its statistics on arrests and seizures made in 2014.
According to the agency, 129 suspected drug traffickers were nabbed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, adding that the arrests indicated 16.2 per cent increase in two years.
Of the impounded drugs, cocaine was said to be the largest haul.
A statement on Wednesday by the NDLEA’s spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said the suspects were arrested in 18 airlines.
It read in part, “Cocaine has the largest quantity with 120.4 kilogrammes Methamphetamine is next with 108.6kg; cannabis sativa, 107.9kg; heroin, 51kg; psychotropic substances 37.3kg and ephedrine, 10.8kg. The estimated street value of the seized drugs in 2014 is N2.9bn. Drug seizures decreased by 33.68kg. Of the 129 suspected drug traffickers, 118 were males and 11 were females.
“A total of 44 suspects were apprehended trying to import narcotics into the country. South Africa, China and United Arab Emirates top the list of preferred destinations by suspects”.
The statement further noted that the command received 229 persons, who were deported on drug-related charges from abroad in 2014.
“Out of the 229 drug deportees, 39 came from Italy, 37 from the United States of America, 36 from Spain, 31 from Norway and 22 from Thailand. Others are Saudi Arabia 14, Switzerland 13, France seven, United Arab Emirates five, Greece four, while Brazil and Sweden deported three persons each.
“Australia, India and South Africa deported two persons each while Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Indonesia, Ireland, Portugal, Turkey Uganda and United Kingdom deported a person each”, it added.
The statement further revealed that while 29 suspects ingested narcotics, 88 traffickers hid drugs in their luggage and four were caught in connection with anal ingestion.
A female suspect was said to have hidden drugs in her private parts.
The money seized from the suspects by the agency at the MMIA were “$24, 362; €23,450; £10,000; N240,000 and R1,140 South African Rand. In addition, 107 ATM cards and $252,500 were intercepted”.
Speaking on the figure, the Chairman of NDLEA, Mr. Ahmadu Giade, said the agency would work to address the problem of drug trafficking in the country.
He said, “The NDLEA shall continue to work very hard in making the country peaceful and drug-free. Efforts shall be intensified towards public enlightenment on the dangers of drug production, trafficking and abuse.
“Let me call on parents and guardians to educate their children on the benefits of living a drug-free lifestyle”.
He also urged commanders to beef up security checks at the airport to frustrate the activities of the smugglers.