from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – NIGERIAN authorities are wary of drug traffickers wearing uniforms of security agencies during their devious schemes.
This modus operandi is a ploy to escape scrutiny by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The agency this week arrested three such impersonators with 427kg drugs on separate incidents in the capital, Abuja, and the terror-prone northeastern state of Borno.
While it could not be established how these criminals acquire military gear, it has previously been reported some unscrupulous elements within the uniformed forces were supplying lawbreakers with military uniforms.
One suspect, Yakubu Kotri, impersonating a military official, was arrested on Wednesday driving a car loaded with cannabis sativa weighing 208 kilogrammes on his way to the town of Bama in Borno.
Borno is the epicentre of the insurgency by Islamists.
Narcotic officers on patrol on a route in the same town arrested another suspect, Salisu Mohammed, who adorned the uniform of another security agency, while trafficking Tramadol to Bama.
NDLEA also on Wednesday arrested Yakubu Kotri, clad in military gear, in Abuja.
Retired Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa, welcomed the breakthroughs.
“He (retired Brigadier-General Marwa) said the arrest of the fake security agents should serve as a warning to drug traffickers who want to wear uniforms of security agencies as a cover to escape scrutiny,” Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said.
Elsewhere, a 60-year-old is among arrested suspects in Abuja for alleged possession of 20kg of cannabis.
Other suspects were arrested in the central Plateau, southeastern Anambra, as well as the northeastern Bauchi and Taraba states.
NDLEA confiscated cannabis, Diazepam and Tramadol during the operations.
A suspected bandit was arrested and found in possession of two firearms.
– CAJ News