Operatives of the NDLEA have intercepted more than 2,060 kilograms of heroin and other assorted drugs in six states.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
Babafemi said that the drugs were intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, and in Ondo, Edo, Kano, Kaduna and Plateau states.
He added that drugs seized included heroin, methamphetamine, Indian hemp, tramadol and Rohypnol.
He stated that two consignments of heroin weighing 4.40kg and 550grams were intercepted at the cargo shed of the MMIA on Oct. 6 and Oct. 15, respectively.
He explained that the first was seized at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc. (SAHCO) import shed of the airport.
The heroin was concealed inside bags of granulated sugar and flour from Johannesburg, South Africa and came through Addis Ababa to Lagos on an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
“Two suspects, Chukwuemeka Ugochukwu, a freight agent that cleared the consignment and one Kabiru Aminu, a stock keeper that was to collect the cargo for onward distribution to recipients were arrested for further investigation.
“In a follow-up operation on Oct. 9, one Adeoya Joy who was to collect the luggage from Aminu was arrested at Ajao Estate, Lagos,
“Enahoro Anointing, who was also assigned to collect part of the consignment, was nabbed at Abule-Egba area of Lagos.
“Both were acting on instructions by their partners in South Africa,’’ Babafemi stated.
He added that the second consignment, discovered at the SAHCO export shed and concealed in walls of 10 cartons laced with tailoring materials, was heading to Malaysia.
The consignment was to be taken on Ethiopian Airline cargo plane through Addis Ababa. A freight forwarding agent, Ekpe Victor, was arrested in connection with the consignment.
“Attempts by another freight agent, Igwe Onwukwe, to export two consignments of Indian hemp to the United Kingdom was foiled by NDLEA operatives.
“The first attempt was made on Oct.15, when Onwukwe presented a carton of 16.55kg Indian hemp for export to the U.K. at the NAHCO export shed where he was promptly arrested.
“Curiously, another consignment of 15.85kg Indian hemp also heading to the U.K. and intercepted on Oct. 20 was traced to Onwukwe, even while still undergoing investigation in custody,’’ Babafemi stated.
In a related development, two persons, Uchenna Ali, 22, and Tochukwu Eno, 20, were arrested with 302kg of Indian hemp in Ondo State.
Their arrest followed a raid on a warehouse in Emure Forest, Owo Local Government Area of the state on Friday, Oct. 22 by NDLEA operatives.
Babafemi stated that a 45-year-old driver, Mohammed Haruna, was also arrested with 10,161 sachets of Tramadol and Rohypnol tablets and capsules while conveying the illicit drugs in a bus for distribution in Kano.
“In Kaduna, a suspected fake soldier, Abiodun Ademoya, from Akure South in Ondo State was arrested in Zaria with 11.6kg of Indian hemp.
“In Plateau, operatives intercepted a Yola-bound mass transit bus with registration number FKY 341 ZA, belonging to Gombe Express coming from Lagos, on Jos-Abuja Road, within Riyom Local Government Area.
“One of the passengers, Ahmad Musa, 32, was found in possession of 22 pellets of compressed Indian hemp with a total weight of 15kg concealed inside a black bag,’’ Babafemi added.
Meanwhile, in a most audacious move, a nursing mother, 35-year-old Mariam Drissu, was arrested at the Edo Command headquarters of the NDLEA on Thursday, Oct. 21 while trying to smuggle drugs into the cell for a suspect.
NDLEA officers who were searching a local staple “Akpu’’ which Mariam took to the suspect in custody was found to be concealing two cups of “Loud’’ Indian hemp weighing 13grams.
In the same vein, officers of the Edo State command also on Thursday raided an Indian hemp farm measuring 3.2 hectares, in Ayegunle Forest, Akoko Edo area of the state.
Babafemi stated that the operatives destroyed the plantation and evacuated 100 bags of harvested Indian hemp weighing 1,639kg, while a suspect, Samuel Ochonogor, was arrested in the forest with 66.7kg of Indian hemp.
The NDLEA spokesman added that the NDLEA also intercepted more than 4.5kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in palm fruit tins, artwork, and bottles of cashew nuts, auto spare parts, and picture frames going to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Qatar.
The drugs were intercepted at the premises of some courier companies in Lagos.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, as commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Ondo, Edo, Kano, Kaduna and Plateau commands.
Marwa commended their resilience and tenacity, urging them and others to continue to keep their eyes on the goal until all the drug cartels in the country were dismantled.
▪︎ By NAN