NATIONAL Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials have arrested 55-year old Basira Binuyo at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja with 76 pellets of cocaine as she was about to board a plane to Saudi Arabia for the hajj pilgrimage.
Annually, about 70,000 Nigerians go on the religious pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, making them one of the largest national contingents. However, Nigerians pilgrims have been known to engage in all sorts of nefarious activities while in Saudi Arabia, including drug smuggling, running prostitution rings and human trafficking.
Ms Binuyo appears to be the latest pilgrim to have tried to use the hajj to make illicit gains after she ingested the drugs prior to boarding the plane. Not long after she was nabbed at the Abuja airport during the outward screening of passengers on an Emirate flight to Medina through Dubai, she excreted 76 pellets of cocaine.
NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport Hamisu Lawan, said the suspect will remain under observation until the drugs are completely expelled. Meanwhile, the NDLEA also arrested a 37-year-old father of three at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos with seven wraps of cocaine in his anus.
Henry Okpalanem, was on his way to China when he was nabbed during the screening of passengers about to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Hong Kong through Addis Ababa. According to the agency’s officials, they practically saved the suspect from an impending execution in China had he left the country successfully.
Apparently, the Imo State indigene inserted 355g of cocaine into his anus but was forced to excrete the drug after being apprehended. NDLEA commander at the airport Ahmadu Garba, said the suspect was travelling on a Malian passport even though he is from Imo State and the name on his passport is Diara Sauduo while his Nigerian name is Henry Okpalanem.