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NDLEA arrests ex-convict for importing 5.9 kg cocaine concealed in cans of deodorants

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Sunday said that it has arrested an ex-convict, Onyeka Charles Madukolu at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos for importing 5.90 kilograms of cocaine concealed in cans of deodorants and ladies’ lip gloss into the country.

A statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi said the 44-year-old man had been sentenced to seven-year imprisonment in Ethiopia for drug traffic previously and was recently released from prison.

“Onyeka who was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in Ethiopia for drug trafficking offences and released from prison in 2020, was again arrested on Friday 16th September 2022 at the Lagos airport on his return from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Addis Ababa on an Ethiopian Airlines flight,” Babafemi said.

“A search of his luggage revealed he had concealed 5.90kg cocaine inside cans of deodorants and female lip gloss. During the preliminary interview, he claimed to have gone into the drug business to raise fresh capital to start a legitimate business after his release from Ethiopian prison in 2020.”

According to the anti-narcotic agency, the suspect – a father of two kids, one each from a Nigerian woman and a Brazilian lady – said he was in the motor spare parts business before going into the criminal trade.

Onyeka, an indigene of Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, told NDLEA officials that he was expecting to be paid N2 million on the successful delivery of the illicit drug in Nigeria.

Similarly, another suspected trafficker, Chukwu Kingsley was apprehended on Tuesday, September 15 on his way to Rome, Italy via an Asky Airline flight.

The 49-year-old suspect, who hails from Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State, was said to have concealed among food condiments 11,460 tablets of tramadol 225mg with a gross weight of 5.7kg and 39 bottles of codeine syrup.

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Also at the Lagos airport, a freight agent, Lawal Adeyemi was arrested the same day for attempting to export some sachets of lexotan among other non-controlled drugs to Liberia, while operatives equally seized 593.90 kilograms of khat leaf at the NAHCO import shed of the airport on Thursday, September 15. after a joint examination of the cargo by a combined team of security agencies.

Meanwhile, a notable producer of new psychoactive substance, popularly called Akuskura, Qasim Ademola has been arrested by anti-narcotic officers who intercepted 26, 600 bottles of the illicit substance meant for distribution across Northern states.

The consignment was seized on Thursday 15th Sept. along Zaria-Kano road, Gadar Tamburawa, Kano while the 39-year-old proprietor from Akinyele LGA, Oyo state and three of his distributors were arrested in follow-up operations.

In a related development,  NDLEA operatives on patrol along Okene-Abuja Expressway intercepted a J5 vehicle in Kogi state on Saturday, September 17.

The vehicle which was coming from Onitsha enroute Kaduna-Zaria was intercepted with 18 pieces of pump action rifles and 1,300 cartridges, while the two suspects conveying the arms and ammunition, Chukwudi Aronu, 51, and Shuaibu Gambo, 23, were arrested.

Another suspect, Anthony Agada, 37, conveying 1,000 cartridges, was equally nabbed in a bus coming from Onitsha to Abuja the same day, while 1,404 bottles of codeine syrup and 2,040 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized from another vehicle coming from Onitsha enroute Sokoto, with the receiver, Stanley Raymond, 39, and the sender, Shadrack Ifediora, 46,  arrested in follow up operations in Sokoto and Anambra respectively.

In Kaduna, a drug dealer, Mohammed Mustapha Dalhatu a.k.a Dawa, was arrested at Sabon Gari Zaria with eight bags of Cannabis Sativa weighing 67kg, and another, Maikudi Hassan, was arrested at Gubuci village of Ikara LGA with five bags of cannabis weighing 54.2kg.

On Thursday 15th Sept, operatives also arrested Mary Ugwu and Hawwa Idi, at Anchau town, Kubau LGA with 721 ampoules of pentazocine injection; 37,000 tablets of exol-5 and nine ampoules of diazepam injection as well as 6.8kg of rubber solution.

In Edo, operatives recovered 285kg of cannabis in two raids at Okpuje, Owan West LGA, on Friday 16th Sept, while in Lagos, 972.5kg of the same substance was recovered from an electronic shop at Alaba Int’l market and one of the suspects, Mrs. Ebere Aja, 38, arrested. No less than 335.1kg of cannabis was also seized in a raid at Kwanar Kundum area of Bauchi town, with two suspects: Usman Garba and Najib Ibrahim, arrested.

Reacting to the arrests and seizures, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the command as well as their counterparts in MMIA, Kano, Kaduna, Edo, Lagos, and Bauchi, for their vigilance and resilience.

He directed the Kogi State command to immediately hand over the arms and ammunition seized to the police for further investigation, charging anti-narcotics operatives across the country to remain focused as they daily discharge their responsibilities.

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