The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in a statement on Sunday, said consignments of cocaine which Brazil based drug cartels tried smuggling into the country have been intercepted at the Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt airports simultaneously.
According to Femi Babafemi, spokesman of the NDLEA, seven (7) of the suspected traffickers were arrested on Saturday 9th April at the Port Harcourt International Airport.
Three (3) of the suspects were reportedly arrested during an inward screening of passengers on board Qatar Airline flight QR1433 from Doha to Abuja and Port Harcourt with a total of 24.96 kilogrammes of cocaine.
Babafemi said the first suspect arrested was a 51-year-old Udogwu Johnson with 5.48 kilogrammes of cocaine concealed in lotion plastic bottles sealed with candle wax who claimed he agreed to traffic the drug for a fee of N1 million.
Ezekwueme Valentine, 32, was the second suspect arrested with 10.82 kilogrammes of cocaine, packaged in 84 sachets and concealed in duvets.
Chiezie Ikechukwu Arinze, 35, was also arrested with 8.66 kilogrammes of cocaine hidden in 115 golden and silver colours of 30ml breakable factory bottles with lotion on top to conceal the substances.
The fourth suspect, Uchechukwu Onwugbufor, 42, was arrested at the airport car park while waiting to receive one of the traffickers, Udogwu James and his consignment who again claimed he was contacted by someone in Brazil to receive Udogwu and lead him to Lagos for a fee of N100,000.
According to spokesperson Babafemi, Uchechukwu Onwugbufor was at the airport with one Nwogu Ezimadu, who he confirmed to be his neigbour.
Neighbour Nwogu Ezimadu, however, is equally being investigated to determine if he is complicit in the crime or not.
Arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, was a Psychology graduate of Imo State University, Owerri, Sebastine Kelvin, 30, with 74 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.454 kilogrammes on arrival aboard Ethiopian Airline flight enroute Doula- Addis Ababa-Abuja last Wednesday.
Sebastine Kelvin confessed that he was introduced to drug business by a man who lives in Cameroon. He again claimed he received the drugs consignment at Addis Ababa by another man who is serving jail term for drug offense at the Doula Newbell Prison.
Uba Samuel was likewise arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, by NDLEA operatives last Friday on arrival aboard Ethiopian Airline flight from Sao Paulo via Addis Ababa to Lagos with sachets of cocaine weighing 633 grammes concealed in his footwear and toothpaste tube.
The suspect who claimed to be a shoemaker and a barber, while accepting ownership of the drug, said he used his shoe making knowledge to conceal the drug in his pair of sandals and he hopes to sell the drugs at a market in Abia state.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) commended his officers for the huge seizures at the airports, warning that it will send a strong message to drug barons across the Nigeria that the country will no longer be the safe destination or transit route for drug traffickers.