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NDLEA seizes N194 bln cocaine in Lagos, arrests 11 suspects for possession of drugs, guns

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday said it has seized 1.8 tonnes of cocaine with a total street value of N194 billion in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

The spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi described the development as one that “appears to be the biggest singular cocaine seizure” in the agency’s history and added that five persons, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager, were arrested.

“Kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include Messrs Soji Jibril, 69, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo state; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, who hails from Ekwulobia, Anambra state; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo state; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo state, and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica,” the statement reads.

“They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the agency has been trailing since 2018.

“Located at 6 Olukuola crescent, Solebo estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raided on Sunday 18th September 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday, September 15.

“Preliminary investigation reveals the class A drugs were warehoused in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.

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“They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums.”

The NDLEA also confirmed the arrest of 11 suspects for possession of drugs, guns and cartridges in various states in the country.

Babafemi said the operatives of the NDLEA while on patrol along the Okene-Abuja expressway, on Saturday, intercepted a J5 vehicle coming from Onitsha en-route Zaria, Kaduna State, with 18 pieces of pump action rifles and 1,300 cartridges.

The spokesperson for the agency said the two suspects conveying the arms and ammunition, Chukwudi Aronu, 51, and Shuaibu Gambo, 23, were arrested, adding that another suspect, Anthony Agada, 37, conveying 1,000 cartridges, was also nabbed in a bus coming from Onitsha to Abuja on the same day.

He said, “1,404 bottles of codeine syrup and 2,040 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized from another vehicle coming from Onitsha en-route Sokoto, with the receiver, Stanley Raymond, 39, and the sender, Shadrack Ifediora, 46, arrested in follow up operations in Sokoto and Anambra States respectively.”

Babafemi also confirmed the arrests of Mohammed Dalhatu, aka Dawa in Zaria; Maikudi Hassan in Ikara LGA; Mary Ugwu in Kubua LGA; Ebere Aja, 38, in Edo State; Usman Garba and Najib Ibrahim in Bauchi State, for similar offences.

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