The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted some illicit drugs, suspected to be Tramadol and Flunitrazepam, at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Head of Public Affairs of NDLEA, Mr Jonah Achema, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Achema said that the drugs, weighing 1.6kg., were expected to be ferried to Istanbul, Turkey, barely few days after resumption of international flights.
He said that the command made the seizure from Mr Michael Chukwuka, during the outward clearance of passengers boarding a Turkish Airline flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
He described the development as an unusual drug trafficking trend; saying the typical trend was the illegal importation of Tramadol from Pakistan and India into the country and not the exportation of the illicit drug.
“The seizures are made up of 1.250 kilograms of Tramadol and 350 grams of Flunitrazepam, and the drugs were concealed in two ‘Ghana-must-go’ bags.
“The Tramadol are in 200, 225 and 250 milligrams, respectively. These are above the 100 milligram threshold permissible for legitimate use and anything above that is illegal.
“Chukwuka, 36, an indigene of Imo State, claimed to be ignorant of the content of the bags.
“He claimed that he was given the bags at the Airport entrance in Abuja to deliver to a Nigerian woman who deals in food stuff in Istanbul.
“He said he did not know the woman but one Mr Paul, her husband in Warri, gave the consignment to one man to bring to him at the airport,” Achema quoted Chukwuka as saying.
Achema, however, said that the suspected drug trafficker, who worked in a Cargo Office in Istanbul, had lived in Turkey together with Paul for many years.
He said that the suspect travelled to Nigeria in March and got trapped by the Coronavirus pandemic, adding that he reportedly became cash-strapped during the period and had to reach out to friends to enable him validate his return-ticket.
Mr Kabir Taskuwa, the NDLEA Commander, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, said that the arrest and seizure came less than a week after the resumption of international flights at the airport, adding that it was a clear indication the drug traffickers were desperate.
“We are equally determined. Most importantly, we need to be extra-vigilant because smuggling Tramadol to Turkey is strange.
“This suggests that there is an emerging Tramadol market in some of these countries,” Tsakuwa added.