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NDLEA nabs three drug barons, recovers 51.90kg heroin

Vaseline 3 months ago

Over two months after being declared wanted, operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested three members of an organized criminal organization which specializes in illicit drug trafficking across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe and America.

The spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, noted in a statement obtained on Sunday by our correspondent, that the development followed the recent seizure of the single largest consignment of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Babafemi said, “A total of 51.90 kilograms of heroin had been recovered from members of the drug cartel in an operation that began February 10, 2024, at the SAHCO Import Shed of the airport’s cargo terminal.

“The consignment was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines, with no less than 45 blocks of the illicit substance weighing 49.70kg recovered from the equipment, while an additional 2.2kg was seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in the Ayobo area of Lagos”.

He disclosed that while the agency had secured an interim forfeiture court order on the hotel, mansions, vehicles and funds traced to members of the syndicate after arresting four of them, a manhunt was also launched for others who went underground.

According to him, “The effort however paid off on Friday, April 19, when two of the wanted kingpins: Onyinyechi Igbokwuputa and Frankline Uzochukwu, were arrested in Lagos and Awka, Anambra State respectively. Another wanted member of the syndicate, Osita Obinna, was equally nabbed in Lagos.”

Similarly, the statement further revealed that an attempt by a suspect, Iheakara Ifeanyichukwu, to export a drug consignment through Terminal 2 of the Lagos airport to Muscat, Oman via an Ethiopian airline flight on Thursday, April 18 was thwarted by its officers.

“When his luggage was searched, 20 big parcels of cannabis weighing 9.80kg were discovered concealed in his bag.

“In his statement, the suspect who lives in Muscat, Oman and returned to Nigeria on April 1, confessed he was hired to courier the drug with an agreement to get paid N1.2m upon successful delivery in Oman,” Babafemi noted.

In Adamawa State, the NDLEA operatives were said to have, on Saturday, intercepted a Peugeot car driven by Dahiru Mohammed at Girei on his way to Mubi with 1,250,000 pills of opioids weighing 450kg.

The operatives had earlier intercepted a J5 bus marked AAA790XV along Ngurore -Yola Road loaded with motor spare parts from Onitsha, Anambra State, with consignments of Codeine syrup and Tramadol concealed in-between the motor parts.

A follow-up operation led to the arrest of the recipient, Jairus Nwanchor, at Jambutu Motor Park

Three suspects: Beriakuma Chinedu, 40; Okpor Isaac, 68, and Daniel Onyeachom, 42, were on Saturday, April 20, arrested at Amarata, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State in connection with the seizure of 69 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 36kg and concealed in a false compartment of a Toyota Picnic car marked MUS 711 DH they were traveling in.

This was as the NDLEA operatives in Imo State, on Thursday, had arrested Kingsley Omeje, 41, at Ama JK, Owerri while he was taking delivery of 49 bottles of codeine syrup he ordered.

In Ondo State, the operatives raided the Oloro camp, Ogbese, Akure North LGA where they arrested Linus Odogwu, 50, and destroyed a total of 25,000 kilograms of cannabis on 10 hectares of farmland while they recovered 89.5kg of the same substance.

Three other suspects: David Obungete Ekepenyoung, 22; Oluwaseun Folorunso,23; and Rabiu Musa, 32, were nabbed in other parts of the state in connection to different seizures totaling 77kg.