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Four Nigerian Pilgrims Arrested for Attempting to Smuggle Cocaine to Saudi Arabia

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended four intending Hajj pilgrims for attempting to smuggle cocaine to Saudi Arabia.

The suspects, lodged at Emerald Hotel in the Ladipo area of Oshodi, Lagos State, were caught ingesting wraps of cocaine ahead of their flight to the holy land on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

The four suspects, identified as Usman Kamorudeen, 31; Olasunkanmi Owolabi, 46; Fatai Yekini, 38; and Ayinla Kemi, 34, were found with 200 pellets of cocaine weighing 2.20 kilograms, which they intended to swallow before their flight.

The NDLEA recovered 100 wraps of the Class A substance from each room, making a total seizure of 200 wraps.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the Commander, officers, and men of the Lagos State Command of the NDLEA for conducting the operation.

He emphasized that the agency will continue to extend its efforts to track, trace, and apprehend criminal elements attempting to use the pilgrimage to carry out illegal activities that could tarnish the country’s image.

The NDLEA chief also stated that the agency would collaborate with their counterparts in Saudi Arabia to ensure that the designated recipients of the seized illicit drug consignments in Saudi Arabia are also traced and dealt with accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Ministry of Health has approved the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to operate two main clinics for Nigerian pilgrims in Makkah.

The Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, made this known in a statement, saying that the approval letter was received by Dr Abubakar Isma’eel, NAHCON’s Head of Medical Mission for the 2024 Hajj Season.

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The two main clinics are located at Masfala/Kudai and Shari’e Al-Mansour areas, serving as the medical head offices.

Approval to start running three other outpost clinics (Triage Outposts 1, 2, and 3) is still awaited. The proposed outposts are located at Nasarawa, Ogun/Oyo, and Borno pilgrim houses in Makkah, respectively.


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