Nigeria: I Helped Smuggle 5kg Cocaine From Brazil to Fund My Marriage - Suspect

23 October 2019

A suspected drug trafficker arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, yesterday said he helped smuggle cocaine from Brazil to fund his traditional marriage.

The suspect, Ibeh Augustine Chukwuma, a Brazil-based Nigerian, had reportedly arrived the NAIA Abuja via Ethiopian Airline, with a maximum ECOLAC bag which was found to contain 5kg of pure cocaine.

The NDLEA spokesman, Jonah Achema, said on Tuesday in Abuja that Chukwuma, 36, has been a resident of Sao Palo, Brazil where he worked in a construction company since 2011.

Achema quoted the arrested Chukwuma as saying that he had approached another Nigerian living in Brazil for financial support for his forthcoming traditional marriage in Nigeria and was promised the sum of N500,000 if he could deliver the drug consignment to an unknown person who will receive him at the airport in Abuja.

According to him, Chukwuma, a primary school leaver, who said his parents are aged, admitted that he was fully aware of the content of the bag but offered to carry it because of the pressing financial need.

"His name is Emmanuel Paul. He deals in foodstuff along with operating a restaurant. He is my friend. I asked him for financial assistance for my marriage and he said he cannot give me the money until I carry the cocaine. He actually told me that it is drug but I had no choice," Achema quoted Chukwuma as saying.

Chukwuma's arrest came on the heels of that of Udeagwu Emmanuel Ugwuchukwu at the Abuja Airport with 3.1 kilograms of cocaine also from Sao Polo, Brazil aboard Ethiopian Airline, with the substance concealed in a home theatre musical equipment.

He noted that five kilograms of pure cocaine was a huge seizure knowing that if adulterated it would be worth about N100 million.

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