Thursday, August 27, 2015 11:06 pm
*Ikechukwu Oliver says he gets N400,000 for each bag smuggled aboard the aircraft
Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday said it has arrested an Arik Air employee, Ikechukwu Oliver, an accomplice, of Chika Udensi, the airline’s steward who was arrested in London, with 20kg cocaine, he was attempting to smuggle into the country.
Mr Mitchel Ofoyeju, NDLEA spokesman said that 35-year old Oliver, who worked as a catering loader, was found to have subverted airport security by concealing cocaine in catering supplies.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that both Oliver and Udensi had been infiltrated by a suspected drug cartel.
“Oliver told narcotic investigators that he was invited into the illicit drug deal by his colleague– Udensi– a senior member of Arik Air cabin crew that was arrested in London on flight W3101.
“It was Udensi that introduced me into the drug deal.
“Whenever Udensi gives me the drug, I will hide it in catering supplies.
“Udensi knows where to collect the drug inside the flight.
“They pay me four hundred thousand naira per bag.
“I was expecting 1.2 million naira for the three bags that I smuggled into the aircraft,” Oliver stated.
The statement also quoted the NDLEA chairman, Mr Ahmadu Giade, as saying that he had directed all airport workers to be extensively screened.
“The Agency has taken drastic measures to avert infiltration of airport workers by criminal syndicates.
“Airline officials and airport workers shall be subjected to comprehensive search.
“The NDLEA will resist any act capable of undermining security at all entry and exit points” Giade stated.
The NDLEA boss stressed that all catering trucks, luggage trucks, aviation fuel tankers, machines and personnel, whose duty directly or indirectly relates to the tarmac and flight operations, should be subjected to full screening.
“As part of investigation, the rented apartment of Udensi at Pastor Ojediran Street, Ejigbo, Lagos, has been searched by operatives of the NDLEA.
“He lives there with his mother and siblings, while his wife and children are based in Canada.
“The latest Range Rover car belonging to the prime suspect, parked on the airline’s premises, had also been moved to the NDLEA office as exhibit.
“The 20kg of cocaine found with Udensi in London was concealed within the construction of laptop bags.
“The quantity and estimated street value of the cocaine is over N100 million naira,” Giade said