By Lawrence Enyoghasu
A Chadian lady, Vivien Tarmadji has been nabbed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). She was arrested while trying to board an Ethiopian airline flight 911 en route Addis Ababa -Italy with 234.35 grams of heroin concealed in her private part.
A press release signed by NDLEA’s Director, Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said the trafficker, who allegedly runs a saloon business in Italy since 2016 upon her relocation to the country via Libya, was nabbed by vigilant narcotics agents during an outward clearance of the airline at the boarding gate after being scanned.
Under interrogation, she claimed she was contacted by a man who called her from Italy to collect the drug from another man in Lagos. The man in Lagos reportedly delivered the illicit substance to her in a hotel in the city before she took her flight to Abuja same day for onward journey to Italy, the statement said.
She further claimed that the man brought 50 wraps of heroin for her to swallow but she couldn’t, and as such, she decided to insert 18 wraps into her private part and return the rest to the man.
“According to her, she came into Nigeria to raise money to pay for her house and shop rents which had expired in Italy, as life has been so difficult since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the owner of the drug was to pay her 10, 000 Euro on successful delivery of the drug to Italy,” he stated.
Meanwhile, another suspected trafficker, Okojie James from Oredo Local Government area of Edo State has also been arrested while boarding a Turkish Airline flight en-route Abuja-Istanbul-Cyprus. A number of illicit drugs including 1. 549kg of Cannabis Sativa; 223.80grams of Tramadol; 192.34grams of Rohypnol; 214.05 grams of Flunitrazepam, all of which were concealed in tins of Bournvita and milk and packed in a bag of foodstuff, were recovered from him
“During interrogation, he claimed his friend, one Mr. Elvis, who resides in Cyprus, asked him to collect the luggage for him. According to him, Elvis’ sister sent the luggage to him in Abuja from Benin through a transport company, Big Joe Motors. He said he was selling Shawarma and noodles business in Benin before Elvis invited him to Cyprus. He said Elvis also helped him to secure admission to school there,” he stated.
Commander, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Command of the NDLEA, Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, said while Okojie James was arrested last Saturday, Vivien was nabbed on Tuesday. He added that both suspects would soon face prosecution.
In a related development, NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO export shed of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos on Wednesday seized an abandoned five cartons of green leaves suspected to be KHAT with a gross weight of 105.70 kilograms.