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NDLEA nab fake journalist, another for cocaine trafficking

Posted by By UCHE USIM on 2007/09/05 | Views: 2527 |

NDLEA nab fake journalist, another for cocaine trafficking


Narcotic agents at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Sunday night arrested a fake journalist who ingested one gram of cocaine which he packaged for delivery in London.

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Narcotic agents at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Sunday night arrested a fake journalist who ingested one gram of cocaine which he packaged for delivery in London.

The command also arrested another suspect, Paul Otayero, 39, from Edo State, who also ingested cocaine for onward transfer to Italy via Alitalia Airlines.

The fake journalist, Muoka Uzochukwu Anthony, 45, Daily Sun learnt, wore an identity card that recognises him as the producer of Nigeria International on NTA Network, in order to beat security operatives at the airport. He also has another identity card of one Rolling Stone Industries Limited, where he occupied the position of General Manager, Production.

Anthony was also armed with fake documents suggesting that he was traveling to London for the Second Annual African Film Festival and Academy Awards taking place at 35 Brockley Road, London from October 2 to 6, 2007.

Parading the suspect before journalists on Monday afternoon, the NDLEA Commander, at the MMIA, Mr Victor Cole-Showers, described the use of a press identity card as a new means of beating security at the airport since drug couriers believe searchlights are not beamed on journalists either on departure or arrival.

Anthony told Daily Sun that he resides in London where he works as a cleaner.
He further stated that he was lured into the drug business by a friend he identified as Ikechukwu Ekechukwu whom, he said, has been his friend for eight months.
Blaming his decision to carry drugs on the financial crisis facing him and his family, Anthony said he would never have accepted to convey the dangerous drug had he better understanding of the implications.

"Ikechukwu told me that Iíll be paid 2,000 pounds (about N500,000) if I successfully conveyed the drug to London. He gave me the drug for ingestion at the hotel. He said Iíll never have any problem if I use the press identity card. The card is for easy passage.

"He gave me the press card in a hotel at the same time he gave me the drug. My family are in the East, Anambra State precisely. They are not aware of my arrest. I never knew the implication of what I was carrying. Iím finished," he lamented.
On the advice he has for potential drug carriers, Anthony said such individuals or groups should have a rethink because the consequences of carrying drugs are unpleasant compared to the financial rewards.

The second suspect, Paul Otayero said unknown forces forced him into the bad trade, stressing that he had been living in Italy since 1989 with little or nothing to show for it.
"I work in Italy with a construction firm. Iím married with four kids. Whenever I come home, I always have problems. I donít know what I use my money for. It just vanishes", he said.
He said he flew into Lagos three months go to see ways of starting up afresh, before being introduced into the drug business.

According to him, he bought cocaine worth N250,000, ingested it with the aid of Ogbono soup and headed for Italy. He further said he bought the hard drug from Oluwole area of Lagos Island courtesy of his friend in Italy who gave him the necessary contacts.
He also attributed his woes to a fraudster whom he said milked him of a large sum of money he gave him for land in Ota, Ogun State.

"I also got 23-seater buses for transport but I canít explain why I couldnít continue. I sold four of them off to a charismatic church at the rate of N700,000 each. That gave me N2.8 million. Iíve the receipt. So after lamenting my plight, my friend said I could start the cocaine business. My wife doesnít work. So there is much pressure on me", he said.

The NDLEA MMIA commander, Cole-Showers said the resident permit of Otayero wil be forwarded to the Italian government in order for them to invalidate his stay.
He said only such stern measures could serve as a deterrent to potential culprits of drug trafficking.
He said the command is hell-bent on unearthing drug couriers, pointing out that such evil people's illicit business was responsible for the destruction of the lives of innocent youths.

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