Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are interrogating a South Africa-based cleric in connection with over 165kgs of narcotics drugs seized at the Apapa Seaport, Lagos, The Nation reports.
The illicit consignment were traced to John Vincent Arinze, from Ara village, Nise in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. The 52-year-old suspect was arrested in his hotel room in Lagos. A Mercedes Benz Jeep belonging to him was also impounded.
The suspect, who had lived in South Africa for over a decade accepted ownership of the illicit shipment and said he made a big mistake by taking over the business of his late wife.
"I am an evangelist living in Durban, South Africa. My late wife was into drug trafficking before she died few years ago. I made a mistake venturing into her business. It is all my fault," he stated.
The drugs, 92kgs of methamphetamine and 73kgs of ephedrine with the estimated street value of N.4 billion were found inside two containers of foodstuff meant for export to South Africa, following meticulous undercover operation by operatives of NDLEA.
The narcotics drugs were hidden inside packs of melon concealed in foodstuff and cosmetics such as gari, noodles, Knorr and Maggi food seasoning, yam powder, malt drinks, pepper, milk, herbal hair cream and Golden Morn cereals, Damatol hair cream, bags of melon, kegs of palm oil, beans, biscuits, sardine and cartons of Orijin Bitters. During the examination of the containers marked MSKU 388274-1 and MSKU 424717-0, anti-narcotic officials detected 20kg of Methamphetamine and 50kg of Ephedrine inside the first container and 72Kg of Methamphetamine and 23Kg of Ephedrine in the second container.
Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd), said the seizure will have a positive influence in Nigeria's fight against narcotics drug.
"This is a product of careful planning and meticulous tracking of narcotic drugs movement. The consignments were closely monitored by our undercover agents and intercepted at the Apapa Seaport, Lagos, following the detection of narcotics by NDLEA sniffer dogs during screening operation. This will definitely have a positive influence on Nigeria’s drug control efforts" said the NDLEA boss
Col. Abdallah reiterated the agency's commitment to the fight against drug trafficking and prosecution of offenders.
"I am very happy with the success recorded in this operation. The agency will remain painstaking and professional in the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse. We hope to unmask the drug syndicate behind this shipment and make more arrests soon," he added
The suspect will be charged to court soon.
Photo credit: Sahara Reporters