Cabin Crew And Drug Trafficking


The arrest of Arik Air staff on Tuesday for drug trafficking in London constitutes a national embarrassment and a failure by our anti-drug trafficking agency to do an efficient work at home. According to the National Drug Law Enforcement, NDLEA, Arik Air staff Temitayo Olubunmi Daramola was found in possession of six kilogrammes of cocaine worth N180m while Delita Abibimgbi also of Arik Air was found with 60 packets of cigarettes.

They had left the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos with eight other crew members and arrived at the Heathrow airport in London, United Kingdom, early on Tuesday. But while the other staff were all cleared  Daramola and Abibimgbi were held by the British officials.

In 2011, Chinwendu Uwakaonyenma Ogbonnaya, 29, also a cabin crew with Arik Air was arrested in London for drug trafficking. She was jailed five years in 2012. While Abibimgbi’s crime might be considered minor, drug trafficking is a serious offence anywhere in the world because of the devastating effects hard drugs have on the society.

The arrest of Arik Air staff with cocaine will further dent our already battered image in the international community. It also shows, sadly, that NDLEA failed to properly check the crew members before their take off in Lagos. It is a good thing Ahmadu Giade, NDLEA boss, has opened an investigation.

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We must determine how the drug successfully passed through NDLEA checks and landed on the plane without being detected.

The officials on duty and NDLEA airport commander must be probed as we suspect that it is not the first time airline staff are allowed to take drugs outside of Nigeria. We also suspect that the six kilogrammes of drug were given to Daramola by a drug baron in Lagos. A proper investigation must lead up to the baron.

Hard drugs are harmful and we must do everything at home to defeat drug trafficking and consumption.

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