Suicide Mission: Desperate man sneaks into Delta Airline plane's tyre compartment with the aim to be smuggled into the US, but arrives Atlanta as mangled dead body

2010-04-17
THE SUN Newspaper- Chioma Igbokwe

The family of a Nigerian, who wanted to play James Bond and perhaps, shock the world with his plan, is currently gnashing its teeth, as the venture has ended in tragedy.

Saturday Sun gathered that a young Nigerian, Mr. Emeka Okechukwu Okeke, recently wanted to do the impossible by smuggling himself into the United States, but ended up arriving not only in body bag but also as mangled body.

Impeachable sources at the Murtala Muhammed International, Lagos, revealed that Okeke had beaten all security at the airport, traced his way to the tarmac and sneaked into the tyre compartment of a Delta Airline’s plane scheduled to depart for Atlanta, United States.

It was gathered that the plane had departed Lagos, without Okeke being detected, and safely arrived Atlanta. Ground staff of the airline, in the United States, were said to have discovered pieces of flesh and blood smear on one of the tyres of the plane and raised an alarm.
A check on the plane revealed the mangled body of Okeke in one of the tyre compartments of the aircraft. The check also revealed a bag and a mobile phone on what remained of the body of the young man.
Saturday Sun gathered that shocked officials of Delta Airlines, in the US, had put on the mobile phone and scrolled through the numbers. To find out the identity of the man, they were said to have called the last number dialed and made inquiries. The man, who received the call, was said to have revealed that the owner of the phone had travelled to the United States.

Delta Airlines officials in the United States had transferred the case to Nigeria, where it was discovered that Okeke, who is married, had confided in some of his friends and relatives that he was travelling to the United States on the night he sneaked into the tyre compartment of the aircraft. His family has been contacted and its members have identified the corpse of Okeke.

According to our source, Okeke is from Anambra and had tried unsuccessfully for years to get a visa to America. Owing to desperation, he decided to embark on the risky venture, which eventually claimed his life. Although, he told his family that he was travelling to US, he never revealed that he was going to sneak into the tyre compartment of the aircraft.

According to our source, Okeke colluded with airport officials to gain access to the tarmac, before finding his way to the plane in the dark. He was said to have wrapped himself in a blanket, not knowing that the aircraft tyres would get to where he was and kill him.

Meanwhile, Delta Airline staffers, who guarded the plane at the airport on the day the incident happened, have been arrested by the police, to explain how Okeke sneaked into the tyre compartment of the plane.
Saturday Sun gathered that Delta Airline has a security policy, whereby its plane at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, is guarded from the time it arrives Nigeria, in the afternoon, till when it departs with passengers in the night.

With such security arrangement, the airline is, therefore, shocked that somebody could have access to the plane undetected and embarked on a suicide mission, which has caused the airline a scandal.
The police at the airport command are currently battling to find out how security was breached at the airport that day.

An airport official, who pleaded for anonymity, told Saturday Sun, that many people had been smuggled out of the country by sneaking into aircraft.

The source said: “That route is for people who have guts and all efforts to leave Nigeria have failed. The man has bad luck; it is not his destiny to leave Nigeria. Maybe he did not follow the instructions given to him on how to survive under there. This is not the first time people are sneaking out of Nigeria through that means. Sometime last year a woman travelled through that means and arrived safely.
“If this man arrived safely, we would not be talking about this. He was careless with his life. Now innocent staff of the airline are going to suffer for his mistake. Those who guarded the plane that night were arrested.”

The racket at the airport
The question being asked by people is, how possible is it that somebody would gain access to the tarmac undetected, considering the tight security in the airport? Our source explained that such illegal movement is being coordinated by a syndicate at the airport, which also works with airlines’ workers.
It was gathered that people who need such services pay as much as N800,000. They tutored on how to survive in the aircraft compartment. For one, it was learnt that they are given blankets and winter clothes with which they would keep warn while the plane is in flight across the Atlantic.
In the country of destination, the illegal immigrants are received by agents in the syndicate, who smuggle them into the country.

Our source blamed the level of corruption at the airport on poor working condition, alleging that some of staff are paid N30, 000 monthly.

“In this present day, how can one survive with such an amount of money? We have to survive; that is why there can never be a cure for the level of corruption at the airport. There is nothing like absolute security; the people at the helm of affairs smuggle things into the plane also, despite their fat allowance,” an airport worker said.
When contacted, officials of Delta airlines refused to comment. However, a policeman at the airport command confirmed the incident and said investigation was going on.

 

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