National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Special Area Command has intercepted 1.6 kilograms of controlled drugs, suspected to be Tramadol and Flunitrazepam which were destined for Istanbul, Turkey.
The intercept comes days after international flights resumed months after shutdown due to coronavirus pandemic in the world.
The seizure was from one Michael Ejionye Chukwuka during the outward clearance of passengers boarding the Turkish Airline flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
Spokesman of the agency, Jonah Achema, said;
The usual trend is the illegal importation of Tramadol from Pakistan and India into the country and not the exportation of the illicit Tramadol.
Seizure includes 1.25kilos of tramadol and 350 grammes of flunitrazepam, a hypnotic drug also known as Rohypnol.
He said that Chukwuka, 36, who is an indigene of Imo State claimed to be ignorant of the content of the bags and that he was given the bags at the Airport entrance in Abuja to deliver to a Nigerian woman who deals in food items in Istanbul.
Achema quoted the suspect as saying:
I don’t know the woman but Paul, her husband in Warri gave the consignment to one man to bring to me at the airport.
The NDLEA spokesman said that the suspected drug trafficker who works in a Cargo Office in Istanbul had lived there together with Paul for many years.
He stated that he travelled to Nigeria in March and got trapped by the coronavirus pandemic during which period, adding that he equally became cash-strapped and had to reach out to friends to enable him validate his return-ticket.
According to Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, Commander, NDLEA Nnamdi Azkiwe International Airport, the arrest and seizure coming less than a week after the resumption of international flight is a clear indication that the drug traffickers are desperate.
However, we are equally determined. Most importantly, we need to be extra-vigilant because smuggling Tramadol to Turkey is strange, suggesting that there is an emerging Tramadol market in some of these countries.