No fewer than One Million Two Hundred and Five Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty (1, 205, 260) pills of opioids were seized in two interdiction operations in Kogi and Gombe state by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, just as anti-narcotic officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos disrupted the activities of a drug syndicate that operates between Nigeria, East Africa, and Europe, with the arrest of two members of the cartel.
Operatives at the Lagos airport had on Monday 13th March intercepted a member of the drug syndicate, Ejezie Vitus Ifeanyi, during screening of inward passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight from Malawi via Addis Ababa at the arrival hall.
When a search was conducted on him, it was discovered that one of his two bags has a false bottom concealment. During preliminary interview of the suspect, he confessed that a member of the syndicate was waiting at the airport carpark to pick him. An immediate follow up operation led to the arrest of Chukwu Franco Bright, who was waiting in a grey colour Mercedes Benz C180 coupe, marked EKY 973 GQ to receive the drug consignment.
After his arrest, a proper search of the bag was conducted before the two suspects leading to the recovery of 3.00 kilograms of heroin. Findings reveal that the drug syndicate networks between Nigeria, and Malawi, Mozambique in East Africa and Europe. While Chukwu who lives in Lagos is responsible for the recruitment and coordination of the activities of mules on behalf of other members of the cartel based in Mozambique and Malawi, another set operates from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA on Wednesday 15th March intercepted a jerrycan of palm oil going to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At the point of examination, it was discovered that 600 grams of cannabis sativa were concealed inside the jerrycan of palm oil. A suspect, Tunde Ogunbowale who presented the consignment for export to Dubai was immediately arrested. This is even as attempt to export 2.7kg cannabis packaged as part of dried onions to Dubai through a postal service firm was frustrated by NDLEA officers attached to the courier company, who seized a carton filled with colourful sachets of dried onions, used to conceal the illicit consignment.
In Kogi state, a total of 530,160 pills of tramadol and 99,000 tabs of diazepam were seized along Okene-Abuja highway from a bus driver, Suleiman Oyedokun, 41, coming from Onitsha, Anambra state and going to Kontagora in Niger State on Monday 13th March. Same day, 576, 100 pills of tramadol concealed in bags of rubber slippers were intercepted by NDLEA officers at trailer garage, old mile 3 road area of Gombe metropolis, Akko LGA, Gombe State. Four suspects: Usman Suleiman; Ya’u Yusuf; Saidu Suleiman and Abubakar Umar have so far been arrested in connection with the seizure.
In Kaduna, 367 kilograms of cannabis sativa were recovered from a vehicle with registration number FKJ141DX. Two suspects: Monday Suleiman, 62, and Sama’ila Mohammed, 30 were arrested while a bribe of One Million Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,200,000) offered NDLEA officers were documented as part of exhibits to prosecute the suspects.
Operatives in Delta state also on Wednesday 15th March arrested a local female distiller of cannabis sativa and dry gin, Ebi Akpotudua, 52, to produce a cocktail drink popularly known as monkey tail. She was arrested at Ugboroke by river road, Warri with 19.5 litres of monkey tail and 22.2kg cannabis.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officers of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of MMIA, DOGI, Kogi, Gombe, Kaduna, and Delta Commands for their professionalism and staying focused. He charged them and their colleagues across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels.