|Ibiteye, Inset: Ndulue | credits: NDLEA|
The deceased was said to have slumped at the departure hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was rushed to a hospital within the facility.
It was learnt that Ndulue, who hailed from Anambra State, had wanted to travel via the Ethiopian airline to China.
PUNCH Metrogathered that 55 wraps of cocaine, weighing 1.2 kilogrammes were evacuated from the suspect’s stomach after he was stabilised at the hospital.
The Lagos-based trader was said to have confessed to an operative of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency that he had wanted to smuggle the drug. He reportedly died while receiving treatment.
Our correspondent learnt that the agency also arrested a 46-year-old businessman, Bamidele Ibiteye, for allegedly laundering $2,198,900 (about N440m).
It was learnt that the money was impounded from Ibiteye at the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, as he wanted to board a flight en route to Abuja.
Ibiteye, who runs a company, ND&C Global Investment Limited, told investigators that the money belonged to a medical practitioner in the state, identified as Thomas Martins.
The suspect, however, declined to reveal the identity of the person who was to receive the money.
The NDLEA Commander at the NAIA, Mr. Hamisu Lawan, confirmed Ndulue’s death.
He said, “The deceased collapsed at the departure hall. He collapsed after he notified the airline officials of his intention to cancel his trip. About 55 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine with a total weight of 1.20kg was evacuated from his stomach.
“The suspect confessed to cocaine ingestion. He later died while receiving treatment.”
The spokesperson for the NDLEA, Mitchell Ofoyeju, confirmed Ibiteye’s arrest, adding that the money had been recovered.
He said, “The $2,198,900 was seized from Ibiteye by anti-narcotic officials on the grounds of suspected money laundering at the local wing of the MMA2, Lagos. The suspect was apprehended on his way to Abuja and he is being investigated in connection with the case.”
It was gathered that the NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, had directed that the suspect and the exhibit be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for further investigation.