By Jude Meribe
Okoguale Douglas, 23, a Nigerian traveling to Italy has been arrested by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. He was trying to board a Milan, Italy bound flight when he was caught.
Explaining the scene to newsmen on Friday in Abuja, NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi alleged that Mr. Douglas excreted 59 wraps of heroin weighing 781.2 grammes. Mr. Babafemi disclosed that the suspect, who hails from Uromi in Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State, was arrested by the Agency during an outward clearance of Ethiopian airline flight number 910 at the boarding gate of the airport en route Abuja-Addis Ababa- Milan (Italy) after being scanned, which proved positive for ingestion.
“Under interrogation, he claimed he has been residing in Italy since 2011 after entering the country via Libya with one of his uncles.
“He said he works as a restaurant attendant in Italy where he earns 900 Euro per month and also works as a painter on his free days and gets about 400 Euro upon completion of any work.
“He also confessed he was promised 2000 Euro if he successfully delivers the drug to Milan, Italy.
“He said he came to Nigeria on April 4, 2021, for the burial of his late father in Esan, Edo State and that after spending so much during the burial, he ran out of money, a situation that made him ask for financial support from one of his Nigerian friends, resident in Italy,” Babafemi narrated.
He added that the suspect further claimed that his friend then told him he would send him money on the ground that he would collect a consignment for him from one other friend of his in Nigeria; and that to facilitate that, he promised to send him a number to call.
Douglas, according to Babafemi, claimed that contrary to the initial arrangement, he was called by a man on Thursday, April 29, 2021, and asked to come down to Abuja where he was picked by two other unknown men from Utako area and lodged in a hotel which he claimed he didn’t know the address.
The suspect also claimed that the two men brought the wrapped drug to him in a hotel on Friday night after which he swallowed the 59 pellets early on Saturday, May 1st, 2021 and was promised 2000 Euro on successful delivery to Milan, Italy. According to Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, the Commander of NAIA Agency, efforts were still ongoing to unravel other suspects connected to the crime.