In what is perhaps threatening to become quite a negative trend, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Abuja Airport is steadily gaining notoriety as a passage point for certain criminals.
What crime is the Abuja airport becoming known for?
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, intercepted 21.9kg of cocaine, in what is the second such discovery in just over a month.
This is contained in a statement signed by the NDLEA Abuja airport Commander, Mr. Kabir Tsakuwa in the FCT.
The statement signed by the agency’s Spokesman, Deputy Commander of Narcotics (DCN) Jonah Achema, said the illicit substance concealed in two suite cases was the largest single seizure by the Command.
He noted that the two unaccompanied and unclaimed suitcases were discovered after Ethiopian Airline’s arrival, ET 910 in Abuja from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to Achema, during the inward clearance of the flight, vigilant Command officers became suspicious after noticing that the two briefcases were abandoned on the conveyor belt without any passengers claiming them.
Tsakuwa directed the officers to keep an eye on the suitcases and informed the Airline and its handlers of NDLEA‘s interest in the luggage.
After few days of not claiming the luggage at the Abuja airport, the station Manager of Ethiopian Airline was contacted and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO Aviance), being the handler for the Airline, indicating the suspicion of the agency of the suitcases.
Tsakuwa added that thorough investigation was being carried out and that the Command was currently liaising with Ethiopian Airline to get more information to unravel the couriers’ identity.
While it is noteworthy that drugs have been intercepted at the airport in recent time, there is also a question that needs to be answered: What about those not discovered? Has the airport become a generally safe path for drug dealers to pass?