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Nigeria’s airport authority says man ‘caught putting hard drugs’ in passenger's bag not its employee

IN SHORT: Nigeria's airport authority says a man caught trying to put a parcel containing “drugs” in a passenger's bag is not its employee.

Warning: This article links to a video with strong language and violence. 

An employee of Nigeria's airport authority was caught putting hard drugs into a passenger's luggage on 19 January 2024, according to a video circulating online. 

The video shows a man accusing another man of putting hard drugs in his luggage and slapping him. 

Its caption reads: “Man slaps airport FAAN staff, raises alarm after the staff was caught trying to ‘smuggle drugs’ into his luggage.” 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) manages all commercial airports in the country, providing services to passenger and cargo airlines.

The video has been posted several times on Facebook with the same claim here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the claim accurate? We checked. 


FAAN says man in the video not their staff

In a statement issued on its website, FAAN confirmed that the incident took place at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. It said the kneeling man was identified as a Pathfinder employee and the one who slapped him was an Ibom Air passenger travelling to Ghana. 

Pathfinder International is an aviation security service provider. 

The statement reads: “The Authority wishes to set the records straight by stating that the officer being manhandled in the video is not a staff of FAAN.”

The employee carrying the medication was immediately arrested for questioning, and the medication sent to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for further investigation, according to FAAN.

Pathfinder later confirmed that it had suspended the employee, who it said had attempted to send medicine through the passenger. 

The medicine was not banned in Nigeria, the company said, but it disagreed with the methods used by its employee.

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