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NDLEA arrests pregnant woman, schoolteacher, others over two tons of drugs seized in eight states

•Seizes 75.75kg skunk from Canada, intercepts Europe-bound Cocaine, Heroin, Meth consignments at Lagos airport


By Eniola Daniel

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has paraded a pregnant woman, Mrs. Sylvester Gloria Onome who was arrested at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), after 800grams of skunk were discovered concealed in two small radio sets she was sending to Dubai, United Arab Emirate on Monday January 30, 2023.

On the same day, operatives also intercepted a consignment going to Congo Kinshasa, containing 111 bottles of body cream that were used to conceal 24.50kgs of ephedrine, a chemical precursor and active ingredient to produce methamphetamine. The cargo was later traced to a trader at Alaba trade fair complex, Ojo area of Lagos, Onyekachukwu Uduekwelu, after the initial arrest of two freight agents.

The agency also paraded a 40-year-old secondary school teacher, Sani Isah, who was arrested at a house in Jekadefari area of Gombe on Thursday January 2, 2023 for dealing in new psychoactive substance, Akuskura. 2,198 bottles of the substance concealed in six bags were recovered from him while he claimed to have started the illicit business since 2018.

On Friday January 27, 2023, a housewife, Okpara Chizoba Victoria was arrested at her residence at 37, Obashola Street, Ijesha area of Lagos following the seizure of 300grams of skunk hidden in a bag of crayfish she was sending to Dubai, UAE, through a freight agent.

Operatives at the SAHCO export on Thursday January 26, 2023 intercepted a sack of new clothes going to Sierra Leone. During a search of the consignment, a parcel of methamphetamine with a gross weight of 1kg, as well as 300grams of skunk and 100grams ecstasy (MDMA) were recovered. A freight agent, Mfonabasi Victor Joseph was arrested in connection with the seizure.

Attempts to export large consignments of illicit drugs especially cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and ephedrine to Dubai, UAE and Europe through various disingenuous modes of concealment by drug cartels via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos have again been frustrated by operatives of the NDLEA, who intercepted them and arrested those behind the bids.

Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi said top on the list of those so far arrested in connection with the seizures is a Nigerian based in Athens, Greece, Iwuozor Edward Chinedu. He revealed that the suspect was debarked from an Ethiopian airline flight on Friday, February 2, 2023 after officers in the tarmac team of NDLEA intercepted two bags during a secondary check exercise at the foot of the aircraft.

Two big pellets wrapped with foil papers and some sprinkles of pepper were recovered from each of the two sides of one of the bags. The pellets were used to construct false walls at the sides of the bag.

The two parcels contained substances that tested positive to cocaine and heroin with a gross weight of 1.30kgs and 900grams respectively. During preliminary interview, Chinedu claimed he came to Nigeria three months ago to do a surgery, which he was not comfortable doing in Athens. He further claimed he was given the bag to deliver in Greece for a fee of N2 million.

No fewer than 255,500 pills of tramadol and diazepam were recovered from an Italy based suspect, Duru Josephat who concealed the drugs in two of the bags he was travelling with to Milan, Italy, on an Ethiopian airline flight. He confessed he bought the drugs in Onitsha, Anambra state and was taking them to Italy to sell.

Operatives at the Tincan seaport seized 75.75kgs of cannabis indica, which came from Montreal, Canada, hidden in a container of four used vehicles with number MSCU 5336680. Coincidentally, the consignment has also been traced to a suspect already in custody in connection with the earlier seizure, Steve Adigwe and his accomplice, Cedrick Maduweke, who is still on the run.

In Bauchi State, a suspect Clement Ekweozor, was nabbed at Rafin Zurfi area, Bauchi town with 28,088 pills of tramadol and other opioids, while 12,000 capsules of the same drug were among others recovered from four suspects when their commercial bus marked UGH 978 KS was intercepted at Koka junction, Asaba, Delta sSate by NDLEA operatives on Wednesday January 1, 2023.

In Ogun State, 190kgs of cannabis were recovered from a dealer, Emmanuel Ibrahim in Lafenwa area of Abeokuta, while three suspects: Mohd Sani Alasan, Yusif Musa and Musa Musa were arrested at Maidile area of Kano with 2,400 bottles of codeine-based syrup. Another dealer, a 55-year-old Bako Ibrahim, was also arrested on Saturday February 4, 2023, in Sharada area of Kano with 420 blocks of cannabis weighing 282kgs.
Another dealer of the same substance, 39-year-old Akeem Azeez was arrested with 612kgs recovered from him in Akure, Ondo State.

Operatives of the Kogi State Command of the NDLEA have in their custody a suspect, 30-year-old Michael Ikechukwu Ofili, over the interception of his consignment containing 106,800 pills of tramadol sent to him from Onitsha, Anambra state, along Okene-Lokoja highway.

Guardian Newspapers

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