The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) agents detained an ex-footballer named Okafor Emmanuel Junior at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos.
Okafor was detained after he boarded an Ethiopian Airlines flight in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after traveling from Sao Paulo, Brazil, carrying 1.40kg of crack cocaine hidden in his baggage.
The agency made the disclosure in a statement published on its Twitter account on Sunday and signed by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters Abuja.
Video shows how an ex-footballer imported cocaine into Nigeria. Just imagine the time and energy it takes to conceal this when you know there’s no guarantee @ndlea_nigeria officers won’t unravel you. Another one busted at Lagos airport. Details coming shortly
According to the agency, anti-narcotics officers arrested the 33-year-old native of Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State on Monday, September 26, 2022, after they learned he had hidden the illegal substance in the handles of his bags and had padded the top edges of those bags with the class A drug.
In a preliminary interview, Okafor revealed that he formerly played football with UNTH Enugu FC, the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, where he spent four seasons before departing for Sri Lanka in 2014.
He allegedly claimed that after playing for two seasons in Sri Lanka, he moved to Brazil but was unable to further his football career there because he lacked official documents.
In a related event, Ibeh Chinedu Damian, a second Brazilian returning to his country who had taken an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was detained when he arrived at the Lagos airport that day. Ibeh, who is from Ahiazu in Imo State’s Mbaise Local Government Area, was discovered to have hidden 3.20kg of black cocaine, often known as “Lucci,” in the phony bottoms of his two backpacks.
In his statement, he claimed that upon the successful delivery of the medicine in Nigeria, he would receive three million, one hundred thousand naira (N3,100,000).
In a same vein, NDLEA agents have foiled a 32-year-old businesswoman’s effort to smuggle 2.150kg of Rohypnol tablets through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, in Abuja, to Istanbul, Turkey. Her plan was foiled by Mrs. Pamela Odin. On Friday, September 23, she was detained as she tried to board a Turkish Airlines flight while carrying a narcotic that was hidden inside pepper and packed amid food.
Despite owning a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey, the native of Afiesere village in Ughelli North Local Government, Delta State, claimed she traveled to Nigeria to visit family and buy supplies for her business.
In the meantime, two Malians—Mohammed Demoele, 38, and Coulibaly Maliki, 56—were detained by NDLEA marine unit agents in Lagos at the Ebute Ero jetty for trying to export 34.2kg bottles of the novel psychoactive chemical Akuskura to Mali via Cotonou, Benin Republic.