A textile dealer from Nigeria was arrested at an airport in the west African country with 4.4 kg of methamphetamine destined for Cambodia, according to Nigerian news outlets.
Ifeka Charles Obi, 47, was detained at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja
last week after the huge haul—with a street value of $1.4 million—was found concealed in food items, news website Sahara Reporters reported on Friday.
“The drug was hidden in foodstuff, but we were able to detect it and the suspect [was] also apprehended,” Hamisu Lawan, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s commander at the airport, told the news outlet.
Mr. Obi is quoted as saying he planned to take the drugs, which were contained in 40 parcels, to Cambodia in order to generate money for his struggling business.
“This is my first time of smuggling drugs, and I agreed to do it so as to get money for my textile business,” Mr. Obi is reported as saying.
“They promised to pay me N1 million [about $2,280] with [an] all-expenses paid trip to Cambodia. The drug was carefully hidden in foodstuffs. Still it was detected. I accept everything as my fate.”
Contacted on Sunday, Cambodian officials said they knew nothing of the arrest.
“We do not know…because nobody received the [drugs in Cambodia] and he was arrested in Nigeria,” said Meas Vyrith, secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs.
The case is just the latest Cambodia-related drug bust involving Nigerian nationals to make headlines.
In September, nine Nigerian men and a Cambodian woman accused of dealing meth out of a Phnom Penh church were handed sentences of between five and eight years in prison.
In March, Nigerian national Samuel Amechi Okeke was sentenced to 25 years in prison for smuggling 1.5 kg of heroin from Cambodia to Australia in 2014. Mr. Okeke and another Nigerian man were charged with operating a major drug distribution ring from inside Prey Sar Prison after one of their alleged dealers was caught in a massive bust netting 13 kg of meth.