KANO, Nigeria – Three Nigerian female pilgrims have been taken into custody by Saudi Arabian authorities on allegations of trafficking substances believed to be cocaine.
The suspects, identified as Binta Nasidi, Zulaihat Ahmed Adam, and Rashida Abdullahi, all residents of Kano city, were arrested after completing this year’s Hajj activities.
In a statement released on Friday, August 11, 2023, by the spokesman of the Kano State Police Command, Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, it was revealed that the women were allegedly lured into this illicit activity by Sharifat Abdullahi, 55, from Kureken Sani Quarters Kumbotso Area.
The police statement detailed a complaint made by Auwal Ishaq of Kawo Quarters and Idris Sani Suleiman of Medile Quarters.
Both men stated they were approached by Sharifat in June, proposing their wives travel internationally via Lagos Airport Terminal.
While Auwal Ishaq reported paying N6,000,000 for both his wives, Binta Nasidi and Zulaihat Ahmed Adam, Idris Sani Suleiman mentioned paying N3,000,000 for his wife, Rashida Abdullahi.
The arrangement involved the wives carrying an undisclosed substance from Lagos Airport to deliver to an individual at the Saudi Arabian airport.
Since their wives’ departure, the complainants lost all contact and efforts to reach them were unsuccessful.
However, Auwal later received a distressing call from one of his wives, informing him of their arrest by Saudi Arabian authorities on charges of trafficking a substance believed to be cocaine.
On investigation, the police apprehended Sharifat Abdullahi, the prime suspect. Her interrogation revealed the complicity of the initial complainants in the scheme.
Sharifat’s confession divulged that the complainants knew their wives’ role as couriers for the undisclosed substance to be handed over in Saudi Arabia. She further admitted that monetary rewards were promised to all parties involved upon successful delivery.
The investigation exposed Sharifat’s collaboration with Idris Sani Suleiman in recruiting individuals within the state for illicit activities, such as human and drug trafficking.
The police subsequently arrested the original complainants. The case has now been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, for further investigation.
In light of these events, Kano State Police have issued a warning, urging residents to be cautious of enticing offers and travel opportunities.
They advised individuals to consult with the appropriate authorities to avoid involvement in grave crimes abroad, especially ones with dire consequences.