A Nigerian pastor was arrested at his church this week over an alleged attempt to export over $3 million worth of narcotic drugs to South Africa from a Lagos airport.
"Prophet" Michael Raji, 60, the resident pastor of the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim at Agodo-Egbe in Lagos, Nigeria, was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for allegedly being part of a wanted drug syndicate operating in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Raji was taken into custody following the interception of the drugs at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport during pre-shipment examination.
"I can tell you that this suspect is a smooth operator, but we have uncovered his bag of tricks. The drugs were brought to the airport for export to South Africa where it was detected. Investigation eventually traced the movement of the drugs to his church where he was arrested," said NDLEA Commander Hamza Umar.
The NDLEA also said that it recovered three international passports from Raji bearing different names.
"The pastor had three international passports bearing his photographs. One of the passports bears the name Michael Raji, while the other two bear the name Kadigun Fatah Ola. It was equally discovered that the church premises where he ministers also serves as a warehouse for narcotics," authorities said.
Raji told agents he was lured into the crime by the devil.
"I received the drugs from my friend and I kept them in the church since October 2014. This is a great temptation for me and I pray to God to overcome it," said Raji, according to authorities.
The seized drugs included about 183 lbs. of Ephedrine and about 200 lbs. of Methamphetamine with an estimated street value of N609 million, which is equivalent to $3,050,079.76.
Authorities are currently working to apprehend accomplices.