NDLEA grills pastor over N1.4bn seized drugs



A 52-year old man, John Vin­cent Arinze, who claims to be an evangelist based in South Africa, has become an un­willing guest of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) which is quizzing him over N1.4 bil­lion worth of narcotics found in his food stuffs at Apapa port, Lagos yesterday.

According to the Spokes­man of NDLEA, Jarikre Ofoyeju, the 92kgs of meth­amphetamine and 73kgs of ephedrine were detected in­side two containers of food­stuff meant for export to South Africa by the agency’s sniffer drugs. He added that the man was arrested in a hotel room in Lagos after the illegal goods were traced to him.

The drugs, Ofoyeju stated, were hidden inside packs of melon concealed in foodstuff and cosmetics such as Gari (cassava flakes), noodles, Knorr and Maggi food sea­soning, yam powder, Malt drinks, pepper, milk, herbal hair cream and Golden Morn cereals. Other items in the container are Damatol hair Cream, bags of Melon, Kegs of palm oil, beans, biscuits, sardine and Cartons of orijin bitters.

“The arrest and seizure is a product on intense undercov­er operation by the NDLEA. The estimated street value of the drugs is N1.4 billion.

During examination of the containers marked MSKU 388274-1 and MSKU 424717-0; anti-narcotic officials detected 20kg of Methamphetamine and 50kg of Ephedrine inside the first container and 72Kg of Metham­phetamine and 23Kg of Ephedrine in the second container. The total weight of the drugs is 165kgs”, he explained.

Ofoyeju also quoted the Chairman/Chief Ex­ecutive of the NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mu­stapha Abdallah (retd.) as saying that the sei­zure has significant influence on the cam­paign against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

This is a product of careful planning and meticulous tracking of narcotic drugs move­ment. The consign­ments were closely monitored by our un­dercover agents and in­tercepted at Apapa Sea­port, Lagos following the detection of narcot­ics by NDLEA sniffer dogs during screening. This will definitely have a positive influ­ence on Nigeria’s drug control efforts”.

The NDLEA boss added that the Agency will remain meticulous in detecting drugs and prosecuting offenders. “I am very happy with the success recorded in this operation. The Agency will remain painstaking and pro­fessional in the fight against illicit drug pro­duction, trafficking and abuse. We hope to unmask the drug syn­dicate behind this ship­ment and make more arrests soon” Abdallah promised.

The NDLEA boss explained that officers successfully traced the illicit consignment to a Mercedes Benz Jeep belonging to the sus­pect, which was also impounded at the time of arrest. The suspect hails from Ara village, Nise in Awka South Lo­cal Government Area of Anambra State. John who had lived in South Africa for over a decade accepted ownership of the illicit shipment. The suspect in his statement said he made a big mistake by taking over the business of his late wife.

I am an evangelist living in Durban, South Africa. My late wife was into drug traffick­ing before she died few years ago. I made a mistake venturing into her business. It is all my fault” he stated. The NDLEA said the man will soon be arraigned.

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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