The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has revealed that Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways had the highest numbers of drug traffickers on their aircrafts in and out of Nigeria in 2019.
The agency also said it arrested a total of 101 drug traffickers and impounded 377.801kg of banned substances at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, in 2019.
The anti-narcotics agency said that its efforts at curbing the spread of the illicit drug paid off in the last year as several new means of couriering the item were exposed.
The agency also had total seizures of 76 within the year under review.
NDLEA Commander, MMIA Command, Garba Ahmadu, gave the statistics on Thursday in his office during an interaction with journalists.
The breakdown of the statistics indicated that out of the 101 suspects arrested within the past year, 87 of them were males, representing 86.14 per cent of the total arrested suspects, while the others were 14 females, indicating 13.86 per cent.
According to him, the command arrested 93 suspects in 2018, but the figure increased by eight in the preceding year.
He explained that the number of seizures recorded in the year under review also increased to 76 seizures from 73 in the previous year, showing an increase of 4.11 per cent.
He said, “The record of arrest in the year under review indicates that there is increase in the number of persons arrested from 93 persons last year (2018) to 101 persons this year showing 8.6 per cent increase.”
Ahmadu stated that cannabis sativa led the highest kilogrammes of illicit drugs seized in the year under review with 44.71 per cent, methamphetamine; 24.93 per cent, cocaine; 9.03 per cent, ephedrine; 7.45 per cent, heroin; 5.75 per cent, while other psychotropic substances accounted for 8.13 per cent within the period.
In terms of kilogramme, cocaine had 34.109kg, heroin; 21.72kg, cannabis sativa; 168.922kg, methamphetamine; 94.18, ephedrine; 28.14, psychotropic substances, which included tramadol and diazepam) was 31.99kg.
The total kilograms of drugs seized according to Ahmadu was 377.801kg as against 5377.125kg recorded in 2018, showing an annual decrease of 92.97 per cent.
He added, “Their mode of concealment included bag and baggage packing, ingestion and anal insertion. Baggage was 80 per cent while the others were 14 per cent.”
He further revealed that the agency secured 36 convictions out of those arrested in 2019, while others were still in various courts in Nigeria undergoing trials.
Apart from this, the command also received 42 male deported for drug related issues in 2019.