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Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Photo credit: Juju Films
Aviation Security (AVSEC) operatives of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in collaboration with officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have apprehended two Mozambique citizens for allegedly being in possession of over 7.2 kilograms of methaphitamine and ephedrine at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
According to reports from the airport, an AVSEC official, Olupeju Oluwaseun detected the bag containing the illicit drugs with tag number SA2312119 at the baggage hall on Wednesday, which led to the discovery of three other bags with numbers SA232117, SA232116 and SA232120.
An eye witness account said AVSEC officer was said to have suspected that the bag might contain illicit substances after it had gone through the scanning machine.
The officer, who was examining bags on the X-ray machines during the final screening of passengers before boarding, was said to have insisted that the bag be checked manually to be sure that her suspicion was wrong.
Officials of NDLEA were therefore invited to conduct search on the bag which revealed a false bottom packed full of the aforementioned illicit drugs.
NDLEA Lagos Airport Commander, Ahmadu Garba who confirmed the arrest said the suspected drug traffickers were arrested while trying to board a South African Airways flight.
“The drugs were discovered in a false bottom of a bag during security screening of bags by a female aviation security officer of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, who later handed the suspended bag to the officials of the NDLEA”.
“Three other bags containing same illicit drugs belonging to the traffickers were later discovered already packed inside the aircraft with the assistance of the airline,” Garba said.
The NDLEA Airport Commander explained that during investigation, it was discovered that the two Mozambique citizens came into the country on religious pilgrimage and were heading back home.
He commended the female AVSEC officer for her insistence that the bag containing the illicit drugs be checked, adding that collaboration like this would help to bring to the barest minimum drug trafficking through the airport.
Report indicated that the suspects were kept in the custody of the NDLEA as investigation was still on-going to get other members of the drug ring.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) March 11, 2018