Thursday, May 23, 2013

■ UNITED KINGDOM: Two Arik Air hostesses stopped with 6kgs cocaine, 60 cartons of smokes.

Arik AirOn Monday, May 20, two Arik Air (W3) air hostesses were apprehended by UK Border officials at London Heathrow Airport from Lagos, Nigeria after they were found in possession of six kilograms of cocaine with a street value of about GBP600'000 in addition to 60 cartons of cigarettes.

Having arrived on flight W3101 at 18h45L, Temitayo Olubunmi Daramola was found in possession of 6kg of cocaine while Delita Abibimgbi was found with 60 packets of cigarettes a report in Nigeria's ThisDay paper stated.

In a statement, Arik Air said it would not tolerate the use of any of its aircraft or crew for the smuggling of banned items and substances.
''Arik Air carries out very stringent checks on all members of staff and its travelling guests ahead of all flights,'' the statement said. "It will continue to focus its attention on measures to prevent the possibility of any future similar incidents."
Source [Panapress

The airline promised to cooperate fully with the UK authorities and all other concerned agencies in their investigations into the arrest.

Arik Air A340-500

Meanwhile, Nigeria's National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says a full scale enquiry of its own into the incident has been launched.

The agency, in a statement  Tuesday said: 
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade has ordered the investigation of two crew members of Arik Air arrested at Heathrow Airport, London, in connection with drug trafficking."
Source [ThisDay]
The statement disclosed that eight out of 10 crew members that travelled with the flight have been cleared while two were still being held in London.

In February last year, another Arik Air airhostess, Chinwendu Uwakaonyenma Ogbonnaya, was sentenced to five and a half years in jail term by a UK court after her December 18, 2011 arrest for smuggling 4kgs of cocaine.

On August 8, 2007, the NDLEA arrested a London-bound Virgin Atlantic (VS) crew member, Mohammed Ibrahim Wudil, with 1.743 kilogrammes of cocaine concealed in a black polythene bag inside a hand luggage hidden in the flight compartment.