3 cocaine smugglers arraigned in Port Harcourt

Three suspected cocaine smugglers who were arrested in July this year by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in connection with the importation of 7.5-kilogram container load of cocaine were on Monday arraigned before a federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt.

The 7.5-kilogram container load of cocaine was intercepted by NDLEA personnel at the Port Harcourt seaport following a tip-off.

The three accused persons who pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, importation of cocaine as well as aiding and abetting the importation of 7.5-kilogram container load of cocaine are Victor Chukwudi, Martins Wachukwuchibuna and a clearing and forwarding company.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the court adjourned the case to September 12, 2018, counsel to NDLEA, Bridget Viashima said: ” The third accused person which is the clearing and forwarding company was charged for allegedly aiding and abetting the first and second accused persons to import the cocaine.”

It would be recalled that while parading the suspects alongside the recovered container load of cocaine before journalists at the Port Harcourt seaport, the NDLEA Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, Barrister Sunday Mbona said: “The choice of the NPA Port in Port Harcourt to smuggle the seized cocaine must have been deliberately based on the perceived laxity of the Port management”