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NDLEA seizes N574m drugs at Lagos Airport

Written by Maritime First
  • As IMF advocates 3-pronged approach to economic recovery

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, says it impounded drugs valued at N574 million and arrested 30 suspects in connection with narcotics at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos alone in the first quarter of this year.

The anti-narcotics agency also advocated an integrated approach in the control of illicit drug trafficking. The Chief Executive of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd), revealed this in a statement by the spokesman of the agency, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, where he released the performances of the agency in the first quarter of 2016.

The statement hinted that the arrested 30 suspected drug traffickers comprised 26 males and four females. He said the total weight of narcotics seized within the period was 100.545kg. Abdallah said the agency must continue to develop integrated programmes in tackling the problem of drug trafficking and related organised crimes at various levels, not just within the nation’s airports, but in all areas.

He said deliberate steps must also be taken to improve regional and international drug control measures aimed at dislodging drug syndicates. The chairman in his data disclosed that most cocaine seizures made by the agency originated from Dubai while methamphetamines were destined for South Africa and Asia. He added, “These steps include robust collaboration, increased funding, use of modern technology in drug crime prevention and exchange of criminal intelligence.

“We also observed the smuggling of psychotropic substances to African countries. There was a seizure of Raphynol to Ghana, Diazepam to Liberia and Tramadol hidden in DJ Rack Box to Congo Brazzaville. The NDLEA will therefore remain dynamic in its operations and maintain a clear lead over criminal organisations. “The agency recorded a remarkable success with the discovery of a super methamphetamine production laboratory in Asaba where four Mexicans were apprehended with other Nigerians.”

NDLEA Commander at the Airport, Ahmed Garba, gave the breakdown of the seized drugs as follows: cocaine 18.460kgs, methamphetamine 29.400kgs cannabis 3.075kgsTramadol 21.990kgs and Diazepam 30.620kgs. He added, “The suspected drug traffickers arrested in the first quarter had been charged to court and the cases are ongoing. Many special operations were conducted including that involving an abandoned luggage containing 2.240kgs of cocaine from Dubai.

“The Agency traced the bag to one Egbuche Fidelis Osita and four others. A total of 61 Nigerians, comprising 60 males and one female were deported to the country for various drug offences.” Two of the suspects, Akaocha Samuel Jekwu, 42, and Ekemezie Obumneme, 38, ingested 85 wraps of cocaine each weighing 1.720kg from Dubai.

In the meantime, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund, IMF, Ms Christine Lagarde, yesterday, said that a three-pronged approach with monetary, fiscal and structural actions, taken in concert by the membership, could work as a virtuous trinity, mutually reinforcing economic activity and reducing stability risks.

She said that decisive action and durable growth were equally needed for the global economy to stabilise. In her opening speech at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings, Lagarde said: “Each country should commit to a set of policy actions—as determined by available policy space—that contributes to a global package of reforms to lift both national and global growth.

“A three-pronged approach with monetary, fiscal and structural actions, taken in concert by the membership, can work as a virtuous trinity, mutually reinforcing economic activity and reducing stability risks. Global cooperation is also needed. “Examples include enhancing mechanisms for adjustment and liquidity provision, shoring up global trade, tackling corruption and furthering the regulatory reform agenda.”

Giving insight into the state of the global economy, she said: “The global economy is expanding moderately, but the outlook has weakened further since October, and risks have increased. “The global economy has been impaired from growth that has been too slow for too long, and at this rate a sustained recovery—with the expected higher living standards, lower unemployment and declining debt levels—may not be delivered.

“However, some recent improvement in data releases, somewhat firmer oil prices, reduced pressu-res on outflows from China, and actions by major central banks have all contributed to improving sentiment.”

National Mirror with additional report from Vanguard

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Maritime First