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NDLEA Smashes International Drug Syndicate, Seizes Loud Consignments, Arrests 5 Members

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have smashed an international drug syndicate with networks in parts of Nigeria, South Africa and Thailand. No fewer than five members of the cartel were arrested in a two-weeks intelligence led operations in Lagos, Abia and Anambra states following the seizure of their illicit drug consignments at the NAHCO import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos.

The unravelling of the drug cartel started on Sunday 20th April when their cargo of four big suitcases arrived the NAHCO shed on an Airpeace airline flight from Johannesburg, South Africa. After days of close monitoring and investigation, the first suspect, Umeh Chisom Peter was arrested on Wednesday 24th April after he showed up to pick two of the suitcases containing Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis owned by a Thailand based member of the syndicate, Obum Michael. The consignment of four parcels was concealed in false bottoms of the two suitcases, while the four suitcases contain a total of 17.6 kilograms Loud and drug candies.

Another member of the syndicate, Mrs. Chiwendu Uche Ugbe whose South Africa based husband, Aloytus Uche Ugbe sent some of the consignments, was traced to Anambra state where NDLEA officers arrested her on Saturday 27th April while attempting to collect the drug parcels sent to her by her husband.

Two other suspects: Onyejakor Francis Chimezie and Naaji Valentine Chukwukere, with links to the cartel were also arrested in parts of Lagos on Monday 29th April. Their arrest led to another operation in Abia state where Mrs. Chinazo Osigwe was arrested when she was to pick up some of the parcels containing Loud and drug candies sent by her husband, Osigwe Chidiebere Anthony who is equally operating from South Africa.

Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on stop and search operation along Abuja-Abaji highway on Wednesday 1st May intercepted a 40-ft gas tanker marked RBC 77XG and upon a thorough search discovered 511 jumbo sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 4,752kg concealed in the gas tank compartment of the truck. The consignment was loaded into the tanker in Ondo state and meant to be delivered in Abuja for further distribution. Four suspects: Efe Abel Mikel, 39; Ebigide Cyril, 29; Ejechi Monday, 41; and Friday Benson Chukwudi, 39, have been arrested in connection with the seizure.

While two suspects: Aminu Umar, 25, and Anas Umar, 22, were arrested with 207.1 kilograms of cannabis sativa in their house at Unguwan Rimi, Basawa, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna state on Monday 29th April, Bashir Umar, 35, was nabbed at Ladanai, Hotoro area of Kano on Friday 3rd May with 194 bottles of codeine syrup.

In Osun state, NDLEA operatives on Wednesday 1st May arrested an ex-convict, 51-year-old Suleiman Usman who is currently facing trial for another drug offence at the Federal High Court Osogbo. At the time of his latest arrest at Okinni town, Suleiman was found in possession of 4.4grams of Cocaine, 28.5kg of cannabis sativa, 20 tabs of rophynol weighing 6.2grams and 812 pills of tramadol. The following day, Thursday 2nd May, NDLEA operatives at Agbara checkpoint, Seme border, Badagry Lagos intercepted a Toyota camry car marked KJA 825 FT conveying 113 jumbo parcels of cannabis with a total weight of 64kg. The driver, Charles Amoni, 45, was promptly arrested.

In Bauchi state, NDLEA operatives on patrol along Bauchi-Jos road on Monday 29th April arrested Clement Chukwuka, 39, with 595 bottles of codeine; 38,260 pills of opioids such as tramadol, rohypnol and diazepam, while another suspect, Friday Ibochi was nabbed at NDLEA check point, Aloma junction, Otukpa, Benue state onTuesday 30th April with 66 blocks of cannabis weighing 33kg. In the same vein, 42-year-old Ifeanyi Stanley was arrested with 12kg of same substance at Swali Jetty, Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.

With the same vigour, the various commands of the Agency across the country continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week. Some of them include: WADA sensitisation lecture for students and teachers of Ekimogun Community Grammar School, Bolorunduro, Ondo East LGA, Ondo state; students of Lafenwa High School (Senior), Abeokuta, Ogun state; students of Sky Brain International School, Enugu Ezike, Enugu state; intending Muslim pilgrims on dangers of illicit drug trafficking, Katsina state and WADA advocacy visit to Olobaoke of Oba Oke land, Oba Adam Iyiola Bamidele Yusuf and his chiefs, Osun state as well as WADA advocacy visit to Lagos state First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, FCT, Kano, Kaduna, Osun, Seme, Bayelsa, Bauchi, and Benue Commands of the Agency for their outstanding feats in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) equally applauded their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures.

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