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A 42-year-old clearing agent, Daniel Unegbu, has been arrested in connection with 83.4 kilogrammes of drug that tested positive for ephedrine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos State.
Unegbu was apprehended with two other suspects –Joseph Ettah, 28, and Bright Wopara, 31 – by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the airport.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the drug, estimated at N4bn, was uncovered in artificial hair usually worn by females.
Our correspondent learnt that the drug, which was said to be the largest quantity of ephedrine seized at the MMIA so far, was to be exported to South Africa.
A bag of heroin smuggled from Nairobi, Kenya, and cannabis billed for trafficking to London, were also said to have been abandoned at the airport.
The NDLEA Commander at the MMIA, Ahmadu Garba, said a preliminary investigation showed that Unegbu helped the traffickers to conceal the drug.
He said, “Officials of the NDLEA at the departure hall detected a bag and during the search, it was found to contain substances that tested positive for ephedrine, with a total weight of 83.390kg. So far, three suspects apprehended are being interrogated to determine their level of culpability. The parcels of ephedrine were concealed in artificial hair. 



“A preliminary investigation revealed that Unegbu, who works as a clearing agent, collected the luggage from his client and took it to the airport. Ettah and Wopara are the two luggage handlers who worked with him.”
The NDLEA Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd.), said the agency had intensified narcotic screening at the airport to frustrate the different tricks employed by drug traffickers.
“This end of the year counter-narcotic smuggling strategy had prevented attempt by a suspected drug trafficking syndicate to export 83.390kg of ephedrine hidden in female hair attachment to South Africa.
“Ephedrine is a precursor ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine. The estimated street value of the drug is about N4bn. NDLEA will continue to resist attempt by criminal syndicates to compromise security through strict law enforcement practice.
“Anti-narcotic agents have been placed on the alert and will remain vigilant to detect any act of sabotage. The case is under investigation and anyone found wanting shall be prosecuted in line with the NDLEA Act,” Abdallah said.

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