A 38-year-old suspected drug trafficker, Ifeanyi Okafor, was on Thursday arrested at Muritala Mohammed International Airport for concealing 2kg of cannabis in a bag of dried bitter leaf, meant for export.
Okafor was apprehended alongside another suspect, Obianwo Okwuchukwu, who was caught with 1.700kg of methamphetamine hidden in his luggage. While Okwuchukwu was caught during the outward clearance of Arik Air passengers to Monrovia, the cannabis was discovered during the search of goods meant for export via a Qatar flight.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Airport commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, confirmed the arrests.
He said, “Okwuchukwu was on his way to Monrovia, Liberia while Okafor’s bag, containing dried bitter leaf, was meant for export to Doha, Qatar.”
Both suspects said to be natives of Anambra State have claimed ownership of the drugs.
A father of four, 53-year-old Okwuchukwu said that he was lured into drug trafficking by the monetary rewards.He said, “I have lived in Monrovia for the past five years and worked in a cinema in order to sustain my family and me.
“My problem began when I lost all my savings to the war in Sierra Leone. I have been living from hand to mouth. My situation was so bad that I agreed to smuggle the drugs for $2,000.”
The 38-year-old Okafor claimed to have lost $87,000 to fraudsters, an incident which pushed him into drug trafficking.
He said, “I am an importer of baby clothes. My business was going on fine until I lost $87,000 to fraudsters. In fact, I am yet to recover from that unfortunate incident that reduced me to a beggar. I was to be paid $1,400 to smuggle the cannabis into Doha, Qatar.”
NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, said stiffer penalties were effective strategies of drug control.
“Stiffer penalties remain one of the effective ways of addressing the problem of drug trafficking in the country. If a 53-year-old man knows that if caught with drugs, he will spend the next 15 years in jail, there will be some restraint,” Giade said.

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