By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Various quantities of Illicit drugs including nitrous oxide, popularly known as laughing gas have been intercepted by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIM, Ikeja, Lagos.
The intercepted drugs, which include ephedrine, and skunk were said to have been concealed in semovita packs and dry pepper being shipped to South Africa and Kenya through the airport, by members of Transnational Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO).
This was contained in a statement made available to journalists today by the Director Media and Advocacy of the agency, Femi Babafemi.
He disclosed that some members of the syndicate were promptly arrested, with their mansions raided and their luxury vehicles seized.
According to the statement, “Through credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 25th August intercepted a notorious drug trafficker, Suleiman Babatunde Oba who is a member of a cartel distributing Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Ephedrine between Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Europe.
” He was arrested while attempting to board a Rwanda Air flight to South Africa with two boxes loaded with ephedrine sealed in semovita packs.
” The recovered substance is a precursor chemical and active ingredient in the production of methamphetamine”.
In his statement, Suleiman who holds a South African passport, married to a South African lady and has lived there for over 20 years, identified Hakeem Babatunde Salami who equally lives in Lagos and South Africa as the head of the drug ring.
A follow up raid in the house of Salami located at 75 Wosilatu Dawodu Street, Ijesha, Aguda area of Surulere, Lagos on Monday 28th August revealed that he had fled the country on the same day Suleiman was arrested.
The synthetic substance was discovered concealed in a bag hidden in a Ford Edge SUV, which was part of three units of used vehicles and motor parts in the container.
In related development, I byn Sokoto, operatives on Tuesday 29th August arrested two male suspects: Nafiu Arzika, 30, and Jamilu Aminu, 35, with 330kg skunk, while another suspect, Ismaila Razak, 38, was nabbed with 34.5kg of same substance and 9.5 grams of methamphetamine on Saturday 2nd September at Olodo area of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
Across the states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, NDLEA Commands intensified the Agency’s War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaigns to schools, worship places, palaces and local communities among others.
For instance, the sensitization lectures were conducted at Holy Trinity Gospel Church, Ogbomoso, and for Muslim faithful at Jammatul Nasirul Islam mosque, Ilorin; members of the Association of Hair Stylists in Ado Ekiti; leaders of road transport union in Abeokuta; traders at Kwata market, Awka; pregnant women at primary health care centre, Bonny; Dekara district palace, Babana community in Borgu LGA and at Noorul Huda Islamiyya School, Kafin Maiyaki.
While commending the officers and men of the Agency across the Commands for their efforts in drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction activities, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) charged them to remain steadfast.