Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested a fake couple, Mr. Ilonzeh Onyebuchi and Mrs Ilonzeh Nonyelum, purportedly going for medical treatment in India for ingesting 184 wraps of cocaine weighing 3.322 kilograms with 100 grams of the drug also concealed in the woman’s private part.
The two suspects were intercepted at Screening Point 1, Terminal 1 of the international wing of the Lagos Airport on August 1, 2023, while attempting to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to India.
Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, said: “Though their travel documents show consistency in their names and depict them as a couple, an NDLEA officer, however, decided to subject them to body scan.
“The scan confirmed they both ingested drugs as a result of which they were later placed on excretion observation at the agency’s facility.
“While their travel documents identify the man as Ilonzeh Onyebuchi and the lady to be Ilonzeh Nonyelum, preliminary investigation revealed that the intending passengers were not a couple but obtained the travel documents in the same surname to beat security checks at the airport. The lady later gave her real name as Ngogbike Nkechi.
“During her interview, she confessed that she was recruited in her church in Aba, Abia State, where she lives.
“The suspect, Ilonzeh Nonyelum (aka Ngogbike Nkechi) stated further that she is a divorcee and that Kingsley with whom she was travelling was not her husband but connected only for the purpose of the illicit drug business trip.
“She revealed that her arranged husband, Kingsley, brought the pellets of cocaine to her in her room to ingest in the hotel where they were both lodged in separate rooms the previous day, July 31.
“After their arrest, a thorough search conducted on her led to the discovery of a big size wrap of cocaine that weighed 100 grams she inserted into her private part.
“She confessed that she was promised $5,000 upon successful delivery of the drug in India.
“In his statement, Kingsley who was into clothing business in Onitsha, Anambra State, claimed he was promised $2,000 after a successful delivery of the drug in India.
“A further search of the agency’s crime data base revealed that Kingsley also obtained his travel documents with fake identity for the trip.
“Indeed, it was established that he was arrested by NDLEA operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on March 19, 2022, for ingesting 100 wraps of cocaine weighing 2.243kgs upon his arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on board an Ethiopian Airline flight.
“His travel documents then contained his real name: Uwaezuoke Christian.
After his arrest at the Abuja airport on March 19 2022, along with another suspect, Iro Uche, who also ingested 65 wraps of cocaine with a gross weight of 1.376kgs, Uwaezuoke was subsequently arraigned before Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court Abuja with charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/438/2022.
“He was eventually granted bail by the court pending the conclusion of his trial. He is still on the court bail when he was arrested at the Lagos airport for a similar offence on August 1.”