The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) has intercepted 21.9 kg of cocaine. The illicit substance was captured at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
According to the statement signed by the NDLEA airport Commander, Mr Kabir Tsakuwa on the 18th of January in Abuja, the two unaccompanied and unclaimed suitcases were discovered after the arrival of Ethiopian Airline, ET 910 in Abuja from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The luggage was seized after being left abandoned and unclaimed for weeks. The suitcases weighed 10.750kg and 11.150kg each.
A study by the International Narcotics Control Board noted that Nigeria tops the list with the highest drug trafficking in West Africa and also a major transit of heroin destined for Europe. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in a report stated that Nigerians based in Brazil are active in cocaine trafficking, importing the substance through containerized consignment, air couriering, and postal shipments.
In the past 10 years, there has been a reduction in the number of seizures of cocaine substances in Africa but this may be due to the inability to detect and report cases. Data on cocaine seizures NDLEA annual report confirms that Nigeria still remains a hot spot for cocaine trafficking. In 2016, 305kg of cocaine was seized in Nigeria compared to 226kg in 2014. In 2014, over 339, 000 kilograms of drugs were seized.
Lagos State and Abuja have been major locations where cocaine trafficking has been interrupted where smugglers make use of the international airport as their smuggling channel to their various destinations. Cannabis, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other illegal substances also pass through Nigeria borders with neighbouring states due to the easy access in and out of the country.
Drug trafficking is a global business, an avenue for quick cash but also has its health repercussions as most drug carriers do ingest the drugs wrapped in a protective container and excreted at the destination of the trafficker. In 2017, over 92000 were estimated to make use of cocaine for non-medical purposes spending an average of 6300 Naira per day on cocaine.