The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said it has arrested two women attempting to smuggle cocaine aboard a Qatar Airways flight to China.
Deborah Alaka and Chinyere Chukwujekwu were found to possess about 3 kilogrammes of cocaine at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.
The arrest came few weeks after some Nigerians were executed in Indonesia for drug trafficking.
The suspects said in their statements that they were pushed into cocaine smuggling because their husbands abandoned them, according to the NDLEA.
“These women are curiously desperate for ingesting drugs, packing some on their bodies and inserting in their vagina,” Hamza Umar, the NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport, said.
Mrs. Alaka, 47, was caught with 1.180kg of cocaine – 260 grammes inserted into her private part and 60 wraps weighing 920 grammes ingested.
The agency caught Mrs. Chukwujekwu, 45, with 1.455kg of cocaine – 59 wraps packed on her body, one parcel inserted into her private part, and 10 wraps weighing 170 grammes ingested, the NDLEA said.
“I got married early because there was no money for me to further my studies after my primary education,” Mrs. Chukwujekwu told NDLEA investigators.
“My husband who is a retired soldier abandoned me 10 years ago. Since then my life has been sorrowful. I sell female clothes and shoes to take care of my children.”
The suspect said she met a man at the market who promised to assist her by introducing her into the importation business.
“This was how we began to talk on phone. He gives me recharge cards and money to sustain myself,” Mrs. Chukwujekwu said.
“It was the day I was to travel that he told me that I will take drugs to China. He took me to a hotel where I was given the drugs and six thousand dollars to buy my goods in China. I could only swallow ten wraps, so I forced some in my vagina and packed others in my underwear.”
In her statement to the NDLEA, Mrs. Alaka said her own husband abandoned her with seven children.
“I sell female bags and shoes to sustain myself and my children,” she said. “My husband left me in 2005 and since then I have been facing several challenges.
“I took loan to travel to China and in the process I incurred huge debt which compounded my problems. At a point, I had no money for food, school fees and even house rent. This was what made me to smuggle drugs.
“I swallowed 59 wraps of drugs all through the night because of 6,000 dollars. I also packed some in my underwear and one in my vagina. It was a terrible experience. I feel so sad that I have to end up this way as a Christian.”
Ahmadu Giade, the NDLEA Chairman, described the action of the women as “disgraceful.”
“It is good that the drugs were detected here by our officials because China has capital punishment for drug trafficking,” Mr. Giade said.
“This arrest has saved them from death and the country from embarrassment. Their action is utterly disgraceful because as mothers they ought to show good example for their children to emulate.”
The NDLEA said the suspects would soon be charged to court.