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NDLEA Secures Conviction of South American National for Cocaine Smuggling

August 3, 2023

Photo Credit: Leadership

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has achieved a significant legal victory with the conviction of a 34-year-old South American man from Suriname, identified as Dadda Lorenzo Harvy Albert. Albert was apprehended by NDLEA operatives at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State, while attempting to smuggle 117 parcels of cocaine into Nigeria. The illicit substance had been ingeniously concealed within extra-large latex condoms, packaged in 100ml body spray bottles.

Following his arrest, Albert’s trial commenced before Justice E.A. Obile of the Federal High Court 2, Port Harcourt, on charges of importation and unlawful possession of 9.9 kilograms of cocaine. He disclosed that his journey from Suriname to Nigeria was spurred by a quest to reunite with his estranged Nigerian father, referred to as “Omini.”

Having pleaded guilty to the charges, Albert was convicted on both counts. On Thursday, July 20th, after a careful review of the case facts, he was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment for each count, the terms to run concurrently. Additionally, the court ordered the forfeiture of $90 and R$10 Brazilian Real recovered from the convict at the time of his arrest to the federal government.

Despite the defendant’s request for deportation back to his home country, the court denied this appeal. Consequently, Albert is serving his prison sentence at the Correctional Centre in Port Harcourt.

In response to the successful prosecution, NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi emphasized that the case represented just one of 1,445 drug-related cases concluded at various Federal High Courts across Nigeria between January and June 2023. The NDLEA Directorate of Prosecution and Legal Services has overseen these proceedings, while an additional 11,166 drug suspects are currently undergoing trial.

Out of the 1,445 individuals convicted, 221 were female and the remaining 1,541 were male. Among the pending cases, 540 involve female suspects, while 10,626 are male. These cases encompass a range of illicit substances including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, cannabis, and tramadol, with a total seizure amounting to 555,953.70 kilograms.

(Source: Leadership)

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