The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Special Area Command, has foiled an attempt by an intending student to smuggle 13.55 kilogrammes of cannabis to Cyprus.
The Head of Public Affairs, NDLEA, Mr Jonah Achema made the disclosure in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Achema said that the suspected drug trafficker, Sunday Odi was intercepted at the departure hall of the airport while attempting to board a Turkish airline flight to Northern Cyprus en-route Istanbul, Turkey.
According to him, 23-year-old Odi an indigene of Ezza South Local Government Area, Ebonyi State was offered admission to read Tourism and Hotel Management at the Near East University, Cyprus.
“During a search of his luggage, some dried weeds which tested positive for Cannabis Sativa weighing 13.55 kg were found concealed in dried hibiscus flowers and stuffed in empty water bottles.
“The drugs were wrapped in little quantities in the bottles which were cut apart for the wraps to enter and sealed back with a brand label ‘Wonder Bitter Root’.
“The bottles were submerged in the bags with food condiments and provisions,” he said.
Achema, however, said Odi denied knowledge of the content of the bag while disclosing that one Emmanuel Ihebekwe, a Nigerian resident in Cyprus was instrumental to the University admission.
Achema said that Odi claimed that Ihebekwe had told him to come along with some foodstuff and malaria drugs contained in two “Ghana-must-go” bags.
“He said that his friend, Ihebekwe had been his friend of many years before he travelled to Cyprus.
“He said that he had directed somebody from Lagos to bring to him at his base in Nnewi the two bags for him to carry along to meet him in Cyprus.
“He said that the bags were handed to him in Nnewi, firmly padlocked and he was told they contained foodstuff and malaria drugs.
“He said that little did he know he has the intention of finishing his life, ” Achema quoted Odi.
The Commander, NDLEA, NAIA command, Mr Kabir Taskuwa said that the mode of concealment of the illicit substances was intriguing.
According to Taskuwa, we have always known the nefarious human beings for going to any extent to execute their evil plan.
“Our youths need to be wary of the gimmickry of being lured to study or work abroad.
“It is either they are being made to carry drugs from here in Nigeria or they will be used for drug trade abroad. Either way is regrettable”, the Commander maintained.