The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) seized illegal drugs worth N2.8 billion and arrested 75 people on charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos between January and June of this year, a press release from the agency says.
The drugs weighed over 450kg in total and consisted of mostly marijuana and ephedrine. Smaller amounts of methamphetamines, cocaine, and tramadol were also seized, Hamza Umar, the NDLEA commander in the Lagos airport, specified.
In addition to the substances themselves, the NDLEA confiscated $2.5 million in cash, $2.1 million of which came from a single currency exchange operator named Ibiteye John Bamidele, whose case has been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.
39 people were arrested attempting to smuggle drugs out of Nigeria, while 28 others were arrested attempting to smuggle drugs into the country. The NDLEA press statement, which was issued by agency spokesperson Ofoyeju Mitchell, said that 23 of the drug traffickers entering Nigeria had itineraries originating in Brazil.
NDLEA head Ahmadu Giade emphasized the necessity of blocking drug trafficking money flows, which sponsor powerful crime syndicates.