The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 36-year-old trans-border drug trafficker, Nkem Timothy, alias Auwalu Audu, in Sokoto State, with 62 wraps of substance suspected to be cocaine weighing 1.550kg, which has an estimated street value of about N1bn.
The NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said on Sunday in Abuja that the suspect was arrested while trying to cross to Algeria through the Niger Republic with the illicit drugs.
He quoted the acting state Commander of NDLEA in Sokoto, Bamidele Segun, as saying that the suspect was intercepted on a motorcycle around the baggage area at Illela border while trying to cross to Niger Republic while his final destination was to be Algeria where he resides.
He said the illicit drug was neatly concealed inside yoghurt bottles.
"He was found with an ECOWAS passport with a different name written as Auwalu Audu, but he gave his real name as Nkem Timothy," the commander stated, adding that his men had commenced a further investigation to unravel his sponsor and other members of the trans-border drug cartel.
Segun added, "This is a ground-breaking feat for us in the command as seizure of this magnitude of type A drug (cocaine) has never been made in Sokoto Command before."
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State Command of the agency has arrested Umar Mohammed with 82 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa weighing 70kg at Lafiya Lamurde area of Adamawa State.
Reacting to the seizures, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd), commended the two commands and charged them to remain vigilant and ensure no illicit drug goes in or out of their areas of responsibility.