NDLEA Busts Three Drugs Syndicates In Lagos
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), following various intelligence-led operations across parts of Lagos state, has clamped down three drug syndicates involved in dealing with multi-billion naira worth of cocaine, opioids and cannabis.
In the wake of the raid, NDLEA officials arrested an alleged baroness and four other kingpins recovered from their hideouts.
The female head of one of the syndicates, Mrs Faith Ebele Nwankwo, was arrested on Wednesday, August 9, at her residence, House 6, C close, 3rd Avenue, Festac area of Lagos shortly after she returned from a warehouse at Plot 3432 Sola Akinsola Street, Divine Estate, Amuwo Odofin where she loaded eight cartons of tramadol 225mg into an unmarked white Honda Pilot SUV.
Authorities say that a search of her residence and the warehouse led to the recovery of two million seven hundred and fifty thousand (2,750,000) pills of tea making, a brand of tramadol 225mg and 250mg packed in 39 cartons weighing 1,916 kilograms. The drugs and the SUV were recovered while the suspect was taken into custody.
In another operation targeted at a group of transnational syndicates involved in the importation, exportation, distribution, and dealing of cocaine and Canadian Loud, operatives of the same Special Unit of the Agency on Friday, August 4, tracked the drug syndicate to Atlantic Nominee Estate in Lekki- Ajah area of Lagos where a blue Toyota Highlander SUV was loaded with 8.49kg of cocaine and 10.3kg Canadian Loud for distribution by the duo of Mrs Urama Chinemelum Precious, 32, and Mr Adelakun Ilelabayo Oluade, 55.
A follow-up operation at the residence of Chinemelum at House 7, Road 7, Lagra estate, Eti-Osa, Lagos, led to the recovery of additional 18 blocks of Loud weighing 18.5kg.
The following day, Saturday, August 5, operatives of the Special Unit went after another syndicate involved in the importation, distribution and diversion of ephedrine hydrochloride, a precursor chemical used for the production of methamphetamine, following intelligence that members of the cartel were planning to divert 25 kilograms of the substance.
Two suspected members of the syndicate: Mr Udeh Vincent Ogbonna, 53, and Mr Okonkwo Ifeanyi Uzozie, 50, were arrested at a commercial bus terminal in Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos, where they were attempting to send the concealed substance to the South East.
A body search conducted on the two suspects led to the recovery of $3,000 found on Mr Udeh Vincent Ogbonna.
In operations across four other states of Ogun, Ondo, Edo and Nasarawa, NDLEA operatives recovered over 13,391.8 kilograms of skunk.
No fewer than 1,955kgs of the illicit substance packed in 139 jumbo bags and stored in the warehouse of a wanted suspected drug dealer, Mr Lekan Jimoh (aka Konmo Konmo) in Ado Odo Ota area of Ogun state, were recovered in the early hours of Saturday 12th August in collaboration with officers and men of the Nigerian Army.
In Ondo, Mr Ogbu Paul Odey, 30; Me Daniel Osidi, 34; Mr John Iyage, 41; Mr Friday Simon, 28; and Mr Friday James, 24, were arrested in connection with the seizure and/or destruction of over 10,325.5kgs of cannabis sativa in Iju and Ala forests, in Akure area of the state between Wednesday 9th and Thursday, August 10.
Also, a 22-year-old, James Aga, was arrested during the raid of an uncompleted building on the outskirts of Utese town in Ovia North East LGA of Edo State on Friday, August 11, with 10kg skunk, 976kg of the same substance was recovered from the building in addition to the recovery of four motorcycles.
In an earlier operation in Utese forest on Tuesday, August 8, at least 46.545kgs of skunk were recovered and 1.581146 hectares of cannabis farms destroyed while two suspects, Mr Onyelunisue Azuka, 48 and Mr Abraham Ayomide, 30, were arrested.
Similarly, in Nasarawa state, a 49-year-old, Mr Umar Abdullahi, was arrested on Friday, August 11, with 64.8kgs of cannabis sativa in Doma LGA, while NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI) on Wednesday, August 9, intercepted a 4.5kg consignment of Loud coming from the United States at a courier firm in Lagos.
In his reaction to the clinical dismantling of the three-drug syndicates and arrest of their kingpins, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Mr Mohamed Buba Marwa, commended the officers and men of the Special Unit for being proactive and pragmatic in the operations.
He also applauded their colleagues in Ogun, Ondo, Edo and Nasarawa Commands and those of DOGI for their zeal and professionalism. He charged them and their compatriots across the country to remain vigilant and focused.