The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, says its operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, NAIA, have seized nine cartons of khat, weighing one hundred and forty six point ninety five kilograms at the cargo wing of the airport.
A statement issued by the Director Media and Advocacy NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Femi Babafemi, said the consignment packaged as dried green tea was shipped from Addis Ababa, on board Ethiopian airline flight ET911.
According to the statement, after initial examination and suspicion, a clearing agent was asked to report with the consignee before the release but failed to do so for fear of arrest, a development that led to a laboratory test on the consignment, which tested positive to khat and the eventual seizure.
The statement also reports that about one hundred thousand bottles of codeine syrup with a total weight of fifteen thousand, three hundred and twenty five kilograms have been intercepted and seized by the agency at the Onne seaport, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
The illicit substance, cough syrup with codeine (100mg), packed in five hundred cartons and concealed in a container marked MRKU 1565305, bearing imported food masks made in India, was discovered last Thursday, in a warehouse at the Onne port complex during a joint examination with officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, State Security Service, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, among others.
The seizure followed an intelligence received by NDLEA, as a result of which the container was put on hold and moved to the Customs Government warehouse within the port complex. No importer or agent has however come forward in respect of the container but efforts are ongoing to track the owner for further investigation and prosecution.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Retired Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa, hailed the synergy among various government agencies at the Onne port and urged them not to rest on their oars as they work hard daily to keep Nigeria safe.
He commended the Commander, officers and men of the Port Harcourt Port Command and their Abuja airport Command counterparts for their vigilance and commitment to the task of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs.
According to the NDLEA boss, one hundred thousand bottles of codeine would have done unimaginable damages to the mental development of youths if they had been allowed to slip through the port to the villages, towns and cities.
He promised to continue motivating officers and men of the agency so that they can give their best in the discharge of their duties across the country so as to win the battle against illicit drug trafficking and abuse, especially with the the support of stakeholders and partners.