The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 37-year-old lady, Uju Gloria Ezeabata, with 1.325kg of methamphetamine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja, Lagos.
The suspect, who was arrested while attempting to traffic the illicit drug to Malaysia, was recruited on Facebook, investigations by the NDLEA revealed.
The narcotics agency also announced the arrest of the cartel’s suspected leader, Philip Maduabuchi Akpaka, 39.
When interrogated, Miss Ezeabata, who works with an accounting firm in Lagos said: “I met a man on facebook some months ago who lives in Malaysia. He told me while chatting online that he is from my state, Anambra. After some months, he proposed to marry me and I requested that he comes to Nigeria to meet my parents as our custom demands. He promised to fulfil every marriage rite. Months later, he invited me to Malaysia, promising to pay all the travel expenses. After several appeals, I decided to visit him. The day I was to travel, he told me to take along a bag of foodstuff sent by his mother from the village. I was given the bag at the airport but in the process of checking it, drug was discovered inside packs of noodles in the bag and I was arrested”.
The Commander of NDLEA at the Lagos Airport, Ahmadu Garba, while commenting on the arrests, said “Gloria was arrested during screening of passengers on an Ethiopian airline flight on her way to Malaysia at the departure hall. Substances that tested positive for methamphetamine weighing 1.325kg were detected in her luggage. The drug was concealed in 26 packs of Indomie noodles in a bag of foodstuff containing plantain, pepper, melon and other spices. Further investigation led to the arrest of Akpaka, who allegedly coordinated the travel arrangement for Gloria and gave her the bag containing the drugs”.
The NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Roli Bode-George, urged the public to be wary of drug cartels.
“Members of the public should be wary of these antics, ascertain a wholesome relationship and report suspicious cases to the agency. Some of the tricks to watch out for include marriage proposals to unsuspecting female victims, unsolicited generosity like cash and other gift items as well as offering all-expense paid trip to Asia, Europe, America and South Africa. The mode of recruitment is also instructive because of its mass appeal to youths. I expect lovers of social media to learn from this arrest”, she said
The cartel’s suspected leader, Akpaka admitted to preparing Ezeabata’s travel papers on the request of his Malaysia-based friend.
“I am a transporter. My friend in Malaysia asked me to prepare travel documents for Ezeabata. He also asked me to give her a bag to take to Malaysia”, he said.
Both suspects the NDLEA said, will soon be charged to court for conspiracy, unlawful possession and exportation of narcotic drugs.