A Nigerian cleric based in South Africa has been arrested while trying to export a huge amount of drug out of the country.
The 52-year-old Arinze, it was gathered, was nabbed with the drugs which consisted of 92kgs of methamphetamine and 73kgs of ephedrine, hidden inside two containers of foodstuff meant for export to South Africa at the Apapa seaport in Lagos.
According to a statement signed by the spokesperson of the NDLEA, Mitchell Ofoyeju, the suspect, who is a Nigerian clergy based in South Africa, was under interrogation following an intense undercover operation by the agency, and allegedly confessed to the crime after sniffer dogs belonging to the agency detected the drugs during screening operation.
The statement reads in part:
“During examination of the containers marked MSKU 88274-1 nd MSKU 424717-0, anti-narcotic officials detected 20kg of Methamphetamne and 50kg of Ephedrine inside the first container.
Also, 72kg of Methamphetamine and 23kg of Ephedrine were detected in the second container. The total weight of the drugs is 165kg.
Officers successfully traced the illicit consignment to a 52-year-old man who claimed to be an evangelist by name John Vincent Arinze, who was arrested in his hotel room in Lagos.
A Mercedes Benz sport utility vehicle belonging to him was also impounded at the time of arrest. The suspect hails from Ara village, Nise, in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
John who had lived in South Africa for over a decade accepted ownership of the illicit shipment.”
It was also gathered that the drugs were hidden inside packs of melon, concealed in foodstuff and cosmetics such as garri, noodles, food seasoning, yam powder, shoe, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, pepper, milk, herbal hair cream and cereals.
The suspect allegedly told the operatives of the drug bursting agency that he made a 'big mistake' by taking over the business of his late wife, who was into drug trafficking.
“I am an evangelist living in Durban, South Africa. My late wife was ino drug trafficking before she died few years ago. I made a mistake venturing into her busines. It is my fault,” he said.