NDLEA Arrests 2 Members Of Afro-Europe Drug Cartel, 9 Others Over Drug Trafficking

By Bukar Bolori

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have seized no fewer 1,205,260 pills of opioids in two interdiction operations in Kogi and Gombe states.

The anti-narcotics officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos also disrupted the activities of a drug syndicate that operates between Nigeria, East Africa and Europe, with the arrest of two members of the cartel.

A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi said that operatives at the Lagos airport had last Monday intercepted a member of the drug syndicate, Ejezie Ifeanyi, during screening of inward passengers on Ethiopian Airline flight from Malawi via Addis Ababa at the arrival hall.

Babafemi said when a search was conducted on Ifeanyi, it was discovered that one of his two bags has a false bottom concealment, and during preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed that a member of the syndicate was waiting at the airport carpark to pick him, prompting an immediate follow up operation which led to the arrest of Chukwu Bright, who was waiting in a grey colour Mercedes Benz C180 coupe, marked EKY 973 GQ to receive the drug consignment.

He said after the arrest, a proper search of the bag was conducted before the two suspects leading to the recovery of 3.00 kilogrammes of heroin, subsequent findings revealed that the drug syndicate networks between Nigeria, two East African countries of Malawi and Mozambique and Europe.

He revealed that 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 last Wednesday intercepted a jerrycan of palm oil going to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At the point of examination, it was discovered that 600 grammes 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.

In another case, attempt to export 2.7 kilogrammes 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 last Monday. 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 local government area, 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 kilogrammes 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 N1,200,000 reportedly offered NDLEA officers were documented as part of exhibits to prosecute the suspects.

Operatives in Delta state also last Wednesday arrested a local female distiller of cannabis sativa and dry gin, Ebi Akpotudua, 52, she specializes in producing 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 22.2 kilogrammes cannabis.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officers of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the officers and men of MMIA, DOGI, Kogi, Gombe, Kaduna, and Delta Commands for their professionalism and for staying focused, charged them and their colleagues across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels.

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