By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
A commercial tricycle rider in Owerri and an Abuja based trader have been apprehended by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.
They are being held in connection with unlawful importation of 6.390kg of substances that tested positive for heroin with street value of N575m.
While one of the suspect was caught on arrival from Rwanda, the other was nabbed on arrival from Nairobi, Kenya.
Commander at the NDLEA at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba gave the names of the suspects as Egwin Cajetan Chinedu, 32 caught with 3.900kg of heroin and King Sunday, 38, found in possession of 2.490kg of heroin.
According to Ahmadu, “Egwin arrived from Kigali on Rwand Airline flight while King Sunday imported the drug found on him from Nairobi during inward screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight. Both suspects are being investigated”.
He said both suspects were also recruited for a fee to import the drugs into the country.
Egwin Cajetan Chinedu who is not married said that he needed money to repair his commercial tricycle while King Sunday who left his wife after four days of marriage on the guise of a business trip said that he needed money for his honeymoon and business.
Egwin Cajetan, a commercial tricycle rider in Owerri the Imo State capital told investigators that he needed money to change the engine of his tricycle.
“The engine of my tricycle which is my only source of livelihood is bad. While I was looking for money to fix it, I was introduced to the man that promised to pay me the sum of four hundred thousand (400,000) naira on the condition that I will bring his drug from Kigali. I accepted the offer because nobody was willing to help me.
“I dropped out of school in Junior Secondary class two. Apart from the repairs, my rent is due and my landlord had been asking for his money” Egwin stated.
The Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Col Muhammad Abdallah (retd) expressed satisfaction with the arrest stressing that drug traffickers are now turning to African countries to smuggle heroin that is produced in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand and other far away countries.
“The Agency successfully foiled their plan with the arrest and seizure of the drugs. Drug cartels thought it would be easy to smuggle the drugs into the country since heroin is not produced in Africa but I am happy that we are thinking far ahead of them.