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HomeMetro NewsNDLEA busts international drug syndicate, makes multiple arrests

NDLEA busts international drug syndicate, makes multiple arrests

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In a significant operation, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended three members of an organized criminal network involved in illicit drug trafficking spanning Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe, and America.

This development follows the recent seizure of the largest-ever consignment of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja, Lagos.

According to NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi, the suspects were captured after a two-month-long pursuit. A total of 51.90 kilograms of heroin were confiscated during the operation, which commenced on February 10, 2024, at the SAHCO Import Shed of the airport’s cargo terminal.

The illicit substance was concealed within 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines. Additionally, 2.2 kilograms of heroin were seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in the Ayobo area of Lagos.

Following the arrests, the NDLEA secured an interim forfeiture court order on assets belonging to syndicate members, including hotels, mansions, vehicles, and funds.

Among those apprehended were kingpins Onyinyechi Irene Igbokwuputa and Frankline Uzochukwu, apprehended in Lagos and Awka, Anambra State, respectively. Another key member, Osita Emmanuel Obinna, was nabbed in Lagos.

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In a related incident, NDLEA officers thwarted an attempt by suspect Iheakara Ifeanyichukwu Festus to smuggle a drug consignment through Terminal 2 of the Lagos airport to Muscat, Oman.

Upon inspection, 20 parcels of cannabis weighing 9.80 kilograms were found concealed in Festus’s luggage. He confessed to being hired as a courier and agreed to deliver the drugs in exchange for N1,200,000.

The NDLEA’s operations extended beyond Lagos, with interceptions and arrests made in various states. Notable among these was the interception of a Peugeot car in Adamawa State, carrying 1,250,000 pills of opioids.

Additionally, raids in Bayelsa, Ondo, and Imo States resulted in the arrest of several suspects and the confiscation of large quantities of cannabis.

Furthermore, NDLEA commands nationwide intensified their War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy lectures, engaging with students, traders, and community members to combat drug abuse at its root.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), praised the efforts of NDLEA personnel across commands and reiterated the agency’s commitment to tackling drug trafficking and abuse through a comprehensive approach encompassing both supply and demand reduction strategies.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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