Drug traffickers looking for a fail-proof way to smuggle illicit drugs decided on the religious route—by stuffing their stash in a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus.
NDLEA operatives embedded in two courier companies intercepted the drugs concealed in the statue and some in auto spare parts to be dispatched to Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
A stash of 140 grammes of methamphetamine stuffed inside a statue of Mary headed for the Philippines was intercepted in one of the courier companies.
Another 500 grammes of heroin concealed in auto spare parts headed for Canada was intercepted in a second courier company.
A separate package of 3.1kg of Indian hemp concealed inside spices and another one kilogramme of Indian hemp concealed in local herbs head for the UAE were also seized, according to Femi Babafemi, director of media and advocacy at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
In a related development, the NDLEA in sting operations arrested 31 suspects in Ondo State for being in possession of 276 kg of assorted illicit drugs. Those arrested included seven females.
They were arrested during a two-week raid which began on April 6.
Babafemi said that the sting operations were carried out to curb the increasing rate of drug abuse among youths and even the elderly in Ondo State.
He added that the illicit drugs seized were 74.285kgs of Indian hemp, 267grammes of other psychotropic substances; 201kgs of “skuchies’’ (a combination of Indian hemp, tramadol, ethanol, and “Zobo’’).
NDLEA dismantled or destroyed most of the vending spots where the drugs were being dispensed, he said.
In Akwa Ibom, the NDLEA also seized 62.150kg of illicit drugs in Oron and Uyo.
Babafemi quoted the NDLEA Commander in the state, Mrs Obot Bassey, as saying that four suspects were arrested in two sting operations conducted on April 22 and April 23.
He stated that NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, had commended operatives in the two states and those of Operations and General Investigations Directorate in Lagos for their steadfastness. (NAN)