Auto Dealer Arrested With N1.1bn Cocaine In Abuja


An auto parts dealer, Kinglsey Okolo, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for smuggling a drug substance that tested positive for cocaine into the country from Brazil.

It was learnt that the suspect had concealed the drug, which weighed 9.2 kilogrammes in soles of foot wears.

The recovery was reportedly made during inward screening of passengers on a Turkish airline flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

According to the agency, the drug has an estimated value of £3.8m (about N1.1bn) in Europe.

The suspect, who reportedly confessed to the crime, told investigators that a friend of his engaged him to traffic in the drug and promised a sum of N1m upon a successful delivery in Nigeria.

He said he wanted to use the money to revive his business, which crashed as a result of the harsh economic condition of the country.

He said, “I am a motorcycle parts dealer; married with a child. My business was failing due to recession. I travelled to Brazil in search of employment. Things became worse for me in Brazil because I had no money to sustain myself while my work permit was being processed. I was equally confronted with the fear of deportation. This made me to be desperate in my search for quick wealth.

“In the process, I met my childhood friend who offered me N1m to smuggle cocaine into Nigeria. He also paid for my ticket and gave me three bags of shoes containing the cocaine. On arrival at the Abuja airport, the cocaine was detected and I was arrested. I had wanted to invest the N1m in a business in Nigeria.”

The NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport, Hamisu Lawan, said investigation had commenced into the crime with a view to tracking down Okolo’s accomplices.

“There was an arrest at the weekend of a 34-year-old suspect, Kingley Okolo, who hails from Ezeagu, Enugu State. Investigation is ongoing and the suspect is cooperating with our team of undercover officers,” he said.

The Chairman of the agency, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd), said the arrest was made possible by an intensive training recently undergone by the operatives.

“We must continue to take deliberate steps to intercept drugs and ultimately prevent the criminal enrichment of drug cartels. Illicit drug proceeds negatively affect economic development and could be used to corrupt government officials and fund terrorism, thereby subjecting mankind to widespread destruction,” Abdallah added

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