From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A 23-year-old drug trafficker, Okoguale Douglas has excreted 59 wraps of heroin weighing 781.2 grammes after his arrest by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
The suspect was nabbed while trying to board a Milan, Italy bound flight.
A statement by the Director Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi on Friday disclosed that Douglas, who hails from Uromi in Esan North-East Local Government area of Edo state, was arrested during an outward clearance of Ethiopian airline flight number 910 at the boarding gate of the airport enroute Abuja-Addis Ababa- Milan (Italy) after being scanned, which proved positive for ingestion.
Under interrogation, he claimed he has been residing in Italy since 2011 after entering the country via Libya with one of his uncles. He said he works as a restaurant attendant in Italy where he earns 900 Euro per month and also works as a painter on his free days and gets about 400 Euro upon completion of any work. He also confessed he was promised 2000 Euro if he successfully delivers the drug to Milan, Italy.
He said he came to Nigeria on April 4, 2021 for the burial of his late father in Esan, Edo state and after spending so much during the burial, he ran out of money, a situation that made him to ask for financial support from one of his Nigerian friends resident in Italy.
He further claimed that his friend then told him he would send him money on the ground that he will collect a consignment for him from one other friend of his in Nigeria. To facilitate that, he promised to send him a number to call.
He said contrary to the initial arrangement, he claimed he was called by a man on Thursday April 29, 2021 and asked him to come down to Abuja where he was picked by two other unknown men from Utako area and lodged in a hotel which he claimed he doesnt know the address.
The suspect also claimed that the two men brought the wrapped drug to him in a hotel on Friday night after which he swallowed the 59 pellets early on Saturday May 1st, 2021 and was promised 2000 Euro on successful delivery to Milan, Italy.
Commander, NAIA Command of the Agency, Kabir Sani Tsakuwa said efforts still ongoing to unravel other suspects connected to the crime.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa commended the officers and officers of the airport command for their resilience and charged them as well as their counterparts across the country to remain vigilant especially with the coming holidays to ensure that no single gramme of illicit drug is smuggled in or out of Nigeria. He assured them he will continue to make their welfare a priority.