A suspected drug baron, Tony Onwurolu
has been declared wanted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) following the interception of 26.150 kilogrammes of heroin consignment at the SAHCO shed of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
The drug with a street value of over N6.5billion was intercepted on arrival in Lagos in 25 parcels from South Africa through an Airpeace Airline flight on 30th June, 2021.
The consignment was screened following reasonable suspicion of it’s content, with a follow up operation subsequently carried out the following day, 1st July.
According to the spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi in a statement on Sunday, the follow up operation by the narcotic officers of the MMIA command, who trailed the driver and a clearing agent that were assigned to deliver the consignment, led them to the house of a baron, Tony Onwurolu at No. 132 Lateef Adegboyega Street, off Ago palace way by Grandmate bus stop Okota, Lagos.
He said during the follow up operation, Tony Onwurolu, who obviously mounted a counter-surveillance around his neighbourhood fled his home before the arrival of the team of operatives who stormed his residence.
He disclosed that team from the NDLEA was able to search his home and recovered a number of documents to establish Onwurolu’s true identity.
Babafemi said having been briefed of the development, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) immediately directed that the fleeing drug baron be declared wanted and his details submitted to Interpol for tracking across the world.
He also directed the agency’s Directorate of Assets and Financial Investigations as well as the Directorate of Intelligence to deploy their networks to fast track the arrest of fleeing baron.
Marwa said in view of the volume of heroin brought into country by the fleeing baron, the agency would deploy all available mechanisms, locally and internationally, to track him and bring him to face charges in the law court.
He said: “Those who have been on the run for 10 years and some for five years, we have since tracked them and are now facing charges while cooling their heels behind bars. The latest one won’t be an exception, because he can only run but can’t hide for too long before we get him.”
In the same vein, operatives of the MMIA Command has also intercepted a 4.3 kilogrammes of skunk imported from Canada.
Babafemi said the the intercepted package, came on Ethiopian Airline and was concealed in nine packs of cereals.
Also on 9th July, one Babatunde Bakare was intercepted by NDLEA operatives with 550 grammes of cannabis and 50 grammes of Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) concealed in six jerry cans of local herbal mixtures called Gabo at SAHCO export shed, MMIA, Ikeja.
According to him, the drug was detected during outward clearance of cargo going to Dubai.
Babafemi disclosed that earlier on Tuesday 6th July, operatives of the MMIA Command, conducted a follow-up operation at Gate 2, Ladipo Oluwole Street, opposite Guinness Bottling Company, Ikeja, where one Animashaun Kabiru was apprehended for questioning about a bag containing bitter kola, which was brought for export to the UK.
He said when the bag of bitter kola was searched, it was discovered that the bitter kola were mixed with some wraps of a substance suspected to be illicit drug.
When 36 wraps of the suspected substance were later tested, they were found to be cocaine weighing 600 grammes.
In a related development, an Uber driver, Lawal Rasheed, arrested on 8th June in connection with the seizure of a cocaine consignment has been let off the hook following his cooperation that led to the arrest of the real owner of the drug, Mr. Egbo Maduka, who in his statement accepted ownership of the consignment and absolved Lawal of any complicity.
Marwa, while commending officers and men of the MMIA Command of the agency for the series of seizures and arrests in the past week, asked them not to rest on their oars, adding that “we must all remain fully prepared and proactive at all times if we have to battle this scourge to a standstill.”