By Esther Onyegbula
LAGOS—A passenger who was arrested while attempting to smuggle 23 wraps containing $34, 000 has revealed that he hid the wraps under his pants when he could not swallow it.
The suspect, identified as Ozoh Ikenna, said: “I was only a courier. I was paid to smuggle the $34,000 to Brazil. They promised to pay me five per cent. I agreed to smuggle the money to alleviate my financial hardship. I could not swallow the wraps, so I decided to hide it in my underpants.”
According to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Head of Public Affairs, Ofoyeju Mitchell, Ozoh Ikenna was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, on his way to Brazil. The money was detected during the screening of passengers for an Etihad Airways flight to Abu Dhabi. He said the suspect packed the dollars in wraps and concealed in his boxer shorts.
NDLEA airport commander, Ahmadu Garba, said the arrest was facilitated by a scanning machine.
“We also conducted a follow-up operation where one Ogbo Emmanuel who gave Ozoh the $34,000 dollars was arrested.
Investigation by the Assets and Financial Investigation Directorate, headed by Mrs Victoria Egbase, revealed that the suspects were involved in the laundering of substantial amounts of illicit drug proceeds. Over two hundred and twenty-six million Naira (N226, 000,000) was traced to one bank account belonging to the second suspect, Ogbo Emmanuel. The account name is Eternal God International Limited.”
Investigations also revealed that the cosmetic business of Ogbo Emmanuel at the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, was a mere hoax, as his sales records did not justify the large inflow of money into his bank account. A Hyundai Tucson Jeep was seized as an exhibit during the raid operation.
It was also discovered that suspected drug proceeds were regularly deposited in the said bank account by members of an international drug cell that smuggle cocaine from South America to West Africa.