The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said yesterday that it arrested a 65 year-old grandmother, Hassan Fatimat Abike, also known as Chika Okoye, while attempting to smuggle 1.740kg of cocaine into London in herbal syrup.
"This is not her fist time of going to London and the drug was cleverly packed to avoid detection. It was packed in balloons and inserted in ten plastic containers of herbal syrup," NDLEA said.
The agency added that the suspect was about to board a British Airways flight when its officers arrested her on Wednesday.
According to the Airport Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, the suspect has two international passports with numbers A03348648 and A3771781A.
"She was caught during the screening of British Airways passengers to London. The cocaine found in her possession was packed in balloons and prepared into plastic bottles. It was also wrapped in black polythene bags. Each bottle was neatly sealed to avoid suspicion," he said.
"Her father is a native of Abeokuta while her mother hails from Owerri, Imo State. Hassan Fatimat Abike also known as Chika Okoye has six children and many grandchildren. She currently lives alone in Owerri and sells clothes to earn a living. The drug found in her bag tested positive to cocaine," he added.Umar said preliminary investigation revealed that she is also known as Chika Okoye, adding that she speaks Ibo and Yoruba fluently.
In her statement, she claimed that the drugs were given to her by a friend.
"I live in Owerri alone because my children are grown up and now have their families. I sell clothes to take care of myself. I met an old friend two weeks ago and during our discussion, I told him I will soon be travelling to London. He asked me to deliver some herbal medicine to his sick relative in London. I was only trying to assist an old friend. I blame myself for everything because I should have turned down his request. The drug was detected during a search at the airport," she said.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, said the agency is investigating her claim.