Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have apprehended a Brazil returnee, Udechukwu Ekene Theophilus, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja, Lagos. The suspect was taken into custody after ingesting 60 large wraps of cocaine.
The arrest occurred during the inward clearance of passengers arriving on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil, via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the D-Arrival Hall of the Lagos airport on Sunday, January 21, 2024. Upon arrival, Udechukwu initially resisted undergoing a body scan, citing health concerns in a desperate attempt to evade arrest.
Facing the option of alternative procedures, he agreed to be placed under excretion observation. Shortly after entering the NDLEA observatory, Udechukwu excreted the first set of cocaine pellets. In subsequent excretions, he expelled a total of 60 wraps of the class A drug, amounting to 1.279 kilograms.
In his statement to authorities, Udechukwu claimed that he had ingested the consignment in Brazil with the intention of discharging everything at the airport in Addis Ababa. However, he could only excrete 15 pellets, which he handed over to another member of his syndicate before boarding his connecting flight to Nigeria.
The arrest underscores the continued efforts of NDLEA operatives in curbing drug trafficking and apprehending individuals involved in illegal activities at various entry points. Udechukwu’s attempt to transport a significant quantity of cocaine through ingestion highlights the persistent challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in combating drug-related offenses.
The suspect will face legal consequences as NDLEA intensifies its commitment to thwarting the activities of drug traffickers, both within the country and at international transit points. This latest arrest serves as a reminder of the vigilance exercised by security agencies in safeguarding the nation against the illegal drug trade.