Monday, 8 October 2012

‘I needed money...Chief said unless I take a bag to India’ .

Luck runs out on drug couriers who blame their misfortune on a ‘friend’
WHEN the deal was struck, Joe Okwudili Eboro and Opara Daniel must have thanked the man so far identified only as ‘Chief’ and their ‘friend’ for the opportunity he gave them, their thoughts only on how much money they were going to make at the end of the day.
But the bubble burst and they were arrested, the tune changed.
Now, 41-year- old Eboro and 30-year-old Opara have nothing but regrets and blame for their friendship with ‘Chief’ who lured them into illicit drug trafficking.
They were apprehended at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos during routine stop-and-search on passengers boarding Ethiopian Airlines flight to India for attempting to export 4.285 kilogrammes of methamphetamine.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) spokesman, Mr. Mitchelle Ofoyeju told The Guardian that the substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine and valued at N68.5 million was hidden inside a brown luggage.
According to the NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar: “Eboro was the person travelling while Opara Daniel was assigned to monitor him to avoid diversion of the drug.
“During screening, the drug was discovered in his luggage at the baggage-checking desk”.
A Lagos-based trader, Eboro, said a friend gave the drug to him.
“My friend lured me into drug smuggling because I requested for financial assistance from him.
“I spent all my savings on my pregnant wife’s hospital bills.
“This affected my capital because I am a petty trader.
“Unfortunately, my friend said that he would help me only if I take a bag to India.
“He gave me 2,000 dollars and also paid for my return ticket.
“ I have never been involved in drug smuggling before, ” Eboro, an indigene of Abia State, who is married with two children, lamented.
The second suspect, Opara, single and still a job-seeker, also blamed his friend for his involvement.
“My friend whom we call “Chief” called me to reserve an accommodation for Eboro. I had never met Eboro in my life before that call.
“The following day, “Chief”called me again that I should give a bag to Eboro and go with him to the airport.
“This was what led to my arrest by NDLEA officers. I was directed by “Chief” to do what I did. That is the much I know” Opara who hails from Anambra State and lives in Lagos, said.
The Chairman of the NDLEA, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, again, warned that the agency would give no quarter to drug traffickers and their sponsors.
“We shall continue to monitor and prevent cases of drug trafficking in the country.
“ Already, two other suspects have been arrested in connection with this case and we are working hard to arrest others,” he assured, adding that the suspects would soon be charged to court.

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