Detectives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, have intercepted a 54-year old single mother of four children on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia with substances that tested positive for cocaine.

The suspect, who hails from Kwara State, was apprehended during the outward screening of passengers on a Qatar airline flight to Saudi Arabia after testing positive to drug ingestion.

Preliminary investigation revealed that she ingested 32 wraps of substances weighing 330 grammes. Investigation revealed that the suspect, who hawks tea and bread to earn a living in Lagos, collected N300, 000 to smuggle drugs to Saudi, under the pretext of going on pilgrimage. She was also going to Saudi as a private pilgrim and not in a group.

NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba, said this was the second arrest of a pilgrim at the airport. One Odeyemi Omolara Morayo a.k.a. Ariyo Monsurat Olabisi was caught with 1.595kg of cocaine on her way to Saudi Arabia in February. He also added that the suspect, Owolabi Oluwayemisi Modinat, was cooperating with investigating officers and that she will be arraigned, as soon as investigation was concluded.

The suspect, in her confessional statement said: “I have never travelled outside the country before now. I am a single mother of four children. I sell tea and bread to earn a living. Presently, I have no money to continue with my tea business, due to family problems. A man met me and promised to help me by sponsoring my trip to Saudi Arabia. As a Muslim, I was happy, but he later asked me to swallow the drugs. I agreed because he promised to pay me N300, 000. I have too many problems and nobody to help me.”

NDLEA Chairman, Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, while commenting on the arrest, said the Agency is working to prevent those hiding under the cover of pilgrimage to traffic narcotics.


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