SAN FRANCISCO, April 11, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has stated that it will henceforth penalise any airline whose staff, in collusion with baggage handlers, tag names of innocent travellers on bags containing illicit drugs on outbound flights.
The warning was issued on Thursday by Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PASEDA), during a stakeholder meeting at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Marwa said investigations had revealed that some innocent passengers have had luggage that does not belong to them tagged by airlines in their names leading to their arrest by security agencies on arrival at their destinations.
He said the move is necessitated by the high number of Nigerians languishing in foreign jails as well as the recent execution of a Nigerian woman for drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia.
“What I said is real that some airline staff and some persons collude to check in and tag passengers name on baggage that they are unaware of and does not belong to them,” he said.
“We have a recent incident at the Kano Airport where a passenger was arrested in Saudi Arabia and he denied ownership of the bag.
“Through the Closed Circuit Television Camera at the Kano airport, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials discovered that he was innocent as the bag was checked in and tagged in his name by airline staff.
“Henceforth, such airlines will be penalised once we discover that such a thing happened on their flight.”