National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has uncovered a cartel, which specialised in planting illicit drugs in travellers’ luggage.
The NDLEA Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), disclosed this in a statement.
The cartel was uncovered after NDLEA detectives embarked on investigation of a Nigerian lady identified as Zainab Aliyu.
Zainab was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with tramadol. The implication in this discovery by NDLEA was the realisation that many Nigerians arrested and executed for drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia might be innocent.
Zainab was arrested by Saudi Arabia Police on December 26, 2018 shortly after arriving for Lesser Hajj.
Zainab, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, had travelled from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in company with her mother, Mrs. Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu.
She was later arrested over allegations that a luggage, bearing her name tag, contained the unlawful substance.
Consequently, the NDLEA Commander in charge of MAKIA had launched an investigation, which culminated in the arrest and arraignment before a Federal High Court in Kano of seven staff of the airport.
The accused are Idris Umar Shehu (alias Umar Sanda), Sanni Suleiman, Nuhu Adamu, Rhoda Adetunji, Udosen Itoro Henry and Sanni Hamisu.
According to a report of the investigation, a copy of which was made available to journalists yesterday, a suspected cartel in the airport had planted the tramadol-bearing luggage on Zainab.