The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja has arrested and interrogated the chief security supervisor of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (nahco aviance) and three others for alleged involvement in exporting 144 kilogrammes of ephedrine to Mozambique.
The NDLEA commander at the airport Mr. Hamisu Lawan said the chief security supervisor, Mr. Audu Garba, two security officers, Nasiru Ibrahim and Haruna Abdullahi as well as a driver, Adamu Dasura, had been apprehended.
He said the plot to smuggle the illegal shipment out of the country in an Ethiopian airline flight was timely intercepted by the NDLEA.
Lawan said the drug was concealed inside noodles and packed in three brown cartons together with relaxers and cereals.
He further said some nahco aviance officials working in the cargo section were invited for questioning but four staff were subsequently detained.
He also stated that another staff of the ground handling firm, Victor Ahenje, a load controller linked with the conspiracy was currently on the run and had been declared wanted.
Meanwhile, he said preliminary investigation suggests flagrant lapses on the part of nahco aviance security in charge of cargo adding that the arrested staff “are cooperating with our team of investigators.”
In his reaction, the chairman/chief executive officer of NDLEA, Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd) called for proper vetting and re-vetting of airport staff to prevent acts of sabotage and compromise capable of undermining national security.
“This is a suspected case of conspiracy involving workers within the airport community. The agency is investigating the level of involvement of the suspects under interrogation and anyone indicted shall be prosecuted. Any act of sabotage can cause untold damage to national security. We shall get to the root of this case. The Agency is working very hard to promote peace and enhance the image of the country,” he said.
Reacting to the development, the managing director and chief executive of the company, Mr. Norbert Bielderman said: “I have no comments on the matter.”