Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Barely a week after the arrest of a Nigerian by sniffer dogs at the Kotoka International Airport (kia), another Nigerian is in the grip of officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) for ingesting pellets of heroin.
Chika Macillinus Umeugokwe, a 31-year-old trader, was arrested last Saturday, January 11, 2014, shortly after boarding a taxi at the KIA on his arrival from Pakistan.
His two accomplices, however, managed to escape.
When he was taken to the NACOB headquarters, he allegedly expelled 69 pellets of heroin weighing one kilogramme with a street value of $80,000.
Briefing the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Executive Secretary of NACOB, Nii Lantey Blankson, said the suspect claimed he had swallowed 77 pellets of heroin but vomited some in Pakistan before setting off.
He said the arrest of Umeugokwe brought to six, the number of Nigerians who had so far been arrested at the airport for drug trafficking within a month.
According to him, Umeugokwe left Nigeria for Ghana somewhere in November last year, by road and left the following day on board Kenya Airways to Nairobi and continued with Etihad Airlines to Pakistan.
The Deputy Executive Secretary indicated that Umeugokwe stayed at the Metro Park Hotel in Islamabad in Pakistan for six weeks.
While there, Mr Blankson said the suspect claimed another Nigerian, whose name he gave only as Cosmos, assisted him to purchase the drugs.
According to him, the suspect claimed he paid $3,500 for 50 pellets of the heroin but Cosmos added 27 to what he had swallowed to be given to his brother on the suspect’s arrival in Nigeria, but the suspect vomited some in Pakistan.
He said on arrival, the suspect was allowed to go through the formalities but unknown to him, he was being monitored by the NACOB officials who followed him outside where he met two men, a Nigerian and a Ghanaian. The three later stopped a taxi but as the driver was parking, the other two suspects fled.
The suspect will be arraigned after investigations.