24th May, 2013
Nigerian airlines must do all they can to prevent drug trafficking, Nigeria’s anti-drug trafficking boss, Ahmadu Giade, said on Thursday, just days after a cabin crew with Arik Air was arrested in London with six kilogrammes of cocaine.
Giade, who was represented by the Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, said Nigerian airlines must “take all necessary steps to prevent drug trafficking in the country”.
“Section 25 of the NDLEA Act states that it shall be the duty of every commercial carrier to take reasonable precaution to ensure that its means of transport are not used in the commission of offences under this Act. They are to comply with appropriate security measures at points of entry and exit in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other customs control areas, to prevent unauthorised cargo in its means of transportation,” NDLEA told airlines at a meeting on Thursday.
The agency explained that such precautions as contained in the Act include training of personnel to identify suspicious consignment or persons, promotion of integrity of their personnel and submission of cargo manifests in advance. Others are use of tamper-resistant, individually verifiable seals on containers and reporting to the agency at the earliest opportunity all suspicious circumstances relating to drug trafficking.
NDLEA Head of Public Affairs, Mitchell Ofoyeju, disclosed that the Arik crew member that was found in possession of cigarettes has been released and is helping NDLEA officers in the on-going investigation.
The airlines through their representatives pledged their full cooperation to security measures taken by authorities in the course of investigation.
The crew member allegedly found with 6kg of substance suspected to be cocaine is still being quizzed in London.
Since the incident on Tuesday, security checks on airline officials have been intensified at the nation’s airports as well all entry and exit points.