The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a Chadian, Vivien Tarmadji, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja while trying to board an Ethiopian airline en route to Addis Ababa-Italy.

The suspect reportedly concealed 234.35 grams of heroin in her private parts. Tarmadji, who runs a salon business in Italy, was nabbed by anti-narcotic agents during an outward clearance of the airline at the boarding gate.

A statement by the spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, on Friday said the woman claimed she was contacted by someone in Italy to collect the drug from a man who delivered the illicit substance to her in a hotel in Lagos.

Babafemi noted that the trafficker “who runs a salon business in Italy since 2016 upon her relocation to the country via Libya was arrested by vigilant narcotics agents during an outward clearance of the airline at the boarding gate after being scanned. Under interrogation, she claimed she was contacted by a man who called her from Italy to collect the drug from one man.

“The said man delivered the illicit substance to her in a hotel she lodged in Lagos early in the morning before she took her flight to Abuja the same day for onward journey to Italy. She further claimed that the man brought 50 wraps of the substance for her to swallow but she couldn’t. She decided to insert 18 wraps into her private parts and returned the remaining to the man that brought them to her in the hotel.

“She said she came into Nigeria to raise money to pay for her house and shop rents which had expired in Italy, as life has been so difficult since the coming of COVID-19 pandemic. She said the owner of the drug was to pay her 10,000 euros on successful delivery of the drug to Italy.”

Babafemi said another suspect, Okojie James, from Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State had also been arrested while boarding Turkish airline flight en route to Abuja-Istanbul-Cyprus.

He said, “A number of illicit drugs including 1.549kg of Cannabis Sativa; 223.80grams of Tramadol; 192.34grams of Rohypnol; 214.05 grams of Flunitrazepam, all of which were concealed in tins of Bournvita and milk, packed in a bag of foodstuff were recovered from him. During interrogation, he claimed his friend, Mr. Elvis who resides in Cyprus asked him to collect the luggage for him. According to him, Elvis’ sister sent the luggage to him in Abuja from Benin City through a transport company.”

The Commander, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Command of the NDLEA, Kabir Tsakuwa, said while Okojie James was arrested last Saturday, Vivien was nabbed on Tuesday March 23, 2021. He added that both suspects would soon face prosecution.

Meanwhile, the NDLEA operatives at the NAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos, seized abandoned five cartons of green leaves suspected to be KHAT with a gross weight of 105.70 kilograms. The agency’s Chairman Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) commended men and officers of the two airports commands and urged them to continue the fight against drug trafficking.


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