The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) command at the International wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport has impounded 24 packs of morphine, 24 packs of pethidine and 157 packs of apresoline injections concealed in a consignment of dried fish.
The NDLEA commander at the airport, Mr. Hamza Umar who disclosed this to newsmen at the weekend in Lagos said the shipment arrived from Thailand.
Umar who added that the shipment was detected during inward screening of goods onboard an Ethiopian Airways flight also said a 35-year-old customs licensed agent, Mr. Chukwu Onyekachi Emmanuel had been apprehended in connection with the illicit import.
“Three types of drugs were found concealed in dried fish. The drugs recovered by the NDLEA during the search included 24 packs of morphine injection weighing 14.960 kilogrammes, 24 packs of pethidine injection weighing 10.820 kilogrammes and 157 packs of apresoline injection weighing 3.505 kilogrammes. In all a total of 29.285 kilogrammes were seized and a customs licensed agent who handled the clearance of the shipment had also been apprehended,” said Hamza.
“It is pertinent to note that unlike cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine drugs like morphine, pethidine and apresoline are not frequently seized in the country. Besides, the seized drugs have been industrially prepared in injectable forms. This increases the risk of abuse particularly among injecting drug addicts,” he said.
He also said the customs agent had confessed that he was paid to clear the consignment.
“A client asked me to clear the consignment. I was told that the content is dried fish. In the process, NDLEA officers said that they wanted to search it.
“I told them that it contained fish but they are free to search. However, during examination, packs of injections were found under the dry fish. I was then arrested,” Emmanuel reportedly told NDLEA personnel.
Meanwhile, Umar said the suspect would be charged to court soon.