AIRPORT authorities arrested on Saturday another Nigerian who was found in possession of three kilos of high-grade methamphetamine hydrochloride, valued at around P30 million, in his carry-on luggage.
is not a lucky day for a West African national who arrived at the NAIA on board Thai Airways flight TG624 from Bangkok after he was intercepted by an alert custom examiner carrying over 3 kilos of high-grade shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) with estimated value of over P30 million concealed in a false bottom of his carry-on luggage.
Customs examiner Irene Alla said Sunday Michael Owoborode, a 40-year-old Nigerian, was acting suspiciously at the customs declaration line at the pre-departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where he was to board a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok.
Subjecting the Owoborode to full inspection, Alla found the contraband in the false bottom of his carry-on bag. Customs police tested the powder via a cobalt thiocyanate test and it was found to be shabu. Owoborode is detained at the jail of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Owoborode was arrested only a few days after drug enforcers in other countries noted a declined in the number of Nigerians who are being used as “mules” by international drug syndicates.
In Malaysia, Narcotics Commissioner Noor Rashid Ibrahim said there has been a drop in the number of Nigerians and Iranians who are being employed as mules as shown by the number of arrests since the start of the year.
“In 2011 and 2012, we saw lots of drug smuggling by the Iranians and Nigerians but suddenly there is a drastic drop,” Ibrahim was quoted as saying by the Malaysian newspaper The Star. “Cases of Indian nationals involved in smuggling drugs into Malaysia have risen sharply. We suspect that Nigerian syndicates have begun working together with the Indians.”
Ibrahim said Indian nationals now top the list of suspected drug smugglers, overtaking Iranian and Nigerian syndicates, but Malaysian authorities suspect Nigerians may be working with Indians in their smuggling operations.
He said Indian syndicates usually smuggle ketamine while Iranians specialize in methamphetamine and Pakistanis in heroin. Nigerians, he said, deal with a variety of drugs.