NDLEA Intercepts UK Bound Cocaine Concealed In Shoes, Headgear, Apprehends 26 suspects In Lagos, Kano, Others

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos

At least, 540 grammes of cocaine concealed in canvas shoes and 225mg tramadol hidden in ladies headgear heading to the United Kingdom have been intercepted by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Similarly, 26 suspects have been apprehended by the agency in Lagos, Kano, Borno, Kebbi and Edo States in connection with their involvement in trafficking of  assorted illicit drugs.

While three out of the suspects were linked to some imported drugs and arms uncovered at the Lagos Port in January, 12 others were said to have been arrested in Kano with different quantities of opioids and other illicit drugs were recovered from them.

The Director, Media and Advocacy of the Agency Mr. Femi Babafemi made the disclosure in a statement yesterday.

While giving a breakdown on the those arrested in connection with the arms and drugs at the Lagos Port,  Babafemi identified those already arrested as members of the syndicate as a clearing and notify party of the two containers, Falowo Samuel Kayode; a dock worker, Anjorin Idowu and Uzairu Ahmed Iguda, who is in charge of the Five Star terminal at the port.

He added that another dock worker at the terminal, Mohammed Muktar Sule (alias organizer) who is equally linked to the syndicate is currently at large.

” The agency swung into action following the operations of the organized criminal network behind the importation of two containers laden with illicit drugs, assorted arms and ammunition from Durban, South Africa to the Tincan Seaport in Lagos.

“Based on credible intelligence, the Agency had requested for a 100 percent joint examination of two containers marked MSCU 4581770 and TRHU 7968071 from South Africa. As a result, the exercise was conducted with other stakeholders on 18th and 19th of January, 2024 during which 56.39kg cocaine and 795kg Colorado, a synthetic strong strain of cannabis among other illegal items were recovered from the containers.

“Following a tasking order by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) to a combined team of specialized units of the agency to unravel those behind the importation of the large consignments of the illicit drugs, ongoing investigations have led to the discovery of more bags of Colorado weighing 192.7kg, a pistol, and rounds of ammunition removed from the container, MSCU 4581770 and hidden in an empty container before the 100 percent joint examination at the Five Star terminal.”

“Consequently, two suspects; Uzairu Ahmed Iguda who is in charge of the terminal’s container positioning and stacking, and Anjorin Idowu who is a dock worker in the terminal have been arrested.

“Another suspect, Mohammed Muktar Sule (alias organizer) now at large, is also a dock worker in the terminal.

According to the statement, investigations revealed that the three suspects conspired with the agent and notify party, Falowo Samuel Kayode to remove the 192.7kg Colorado, pistol and rounds of ammunition from the container to an empty container in the terminal.

The latest seizure brings the total recovered from the two containers to 56.39kg of cocaine and 987.9kg of Colorado with a combined weight of 1,044.29kg.

Similarly, it added that investigations revealed that three kingpins based in South Africa are connected with the importation of the containers. The kingpins; Odeyemi Taiwo Emmanuel, Akinyemi Olayinka and Adebayo Adewole Emmanuel are now on the Agency’s wanted list.

The statement stated further that “At least 540 grams of cocaine concealed in canvas shoes heading to the UK were intercepted at a courier firm in Lagos on Friday 23rd Feb by NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigation, DOGI. Equally, a consignment of tramadol 225mg hidden in ladies headgear going to the UK was also seized same day at the courier house, while another parcel containing ecstasy concealed in body cream container meant for Cyprus was also intercepted.”

It also mentioned that different quantities of opioids and other illicit drugs were recovered from at least 12 young men arrested in parts of Kano between Monday 19th and Friday 23rd February.

According to the agency, the suspects are; Yusuf Abdullahi, 20; Usman Muh’d,18; Sadiq Jibrin, 20; Ibrahim Lawan, 25; Ukasha Usaini,19; Sahabi Lamini,15.

Others are Isiyaka Mohd, 28; Bashir Ayuba, 36; Ahmad Idris,18; Abubakar Sani, 29; Bashir Mohd, 21 and Udochukwu Ezekiel, 35.

In a related development, Operatives of Edo NDLEA raided a drug joint under powerline off Etete road, GRA Benin City on Tuesday, February 20 and they nabbed a 24-year-old sales girl, Jessica Destiny. As a result, they recovered assorted illicit drugs.

A follow up operation the following day led to the arrest of the owner of the joint, 36-year-old Ibrahim Sani who is the Commander, Arewa Association Vigilantes in the area.

Similarly, a consignment of 179kg cannabis was recovered by operatives at Badagry Waterside, Lagos on Wednesday, February 21 – and a 67-year-old grandpa, Rafiu Ogunro was arrested on Thursday, February 22 at Magbon, Ogun State with 57kg cannabis, 2,700 pills of tramadol, and 231 bottles of Codeine syrup, weighing 2.31 litres.

Elsewhere in Borno, a 25-year-old lady, Zara Mele was apprehended with quantities of cocaine and heroin at Baga check point on Tuesday, February 20; while 26-year-old, Usman Shuaibu and 22-year-old, Mohammed Lawan were also arrested with quantities of the same class A drug at Meri and Babban Layi areas of Maiduguri the same day respectively.

The agency said that no less than 44,820 pills of opioids being taken to Zamfara State by Tasiu Mohammed, 25, and Abubakar Tanko, 54, were intercepted along Jega-Sokoto road by NDLEA officers in Kebbi State, while a farmer Ali Abdulhamid, 35, was arrested in his farm where he grows tomatoes and some stems of cannabis sativa weighing 73 kilograms at Bakin Kasuwa village, Birnin Yero area of Igabi LGA, Kaduna State.

In addition, two suspects; Shuaibu Ahmed, 38, and Tanimu Abdullahi, 29, travelling in a commercial bus from Lagos to Kano with 99 blocks of cannabis weighing 37kg were intercepted by NDLEA officers along Kwali-Gwagwalada express road, Abuja on Monday, February 19; while one Michael Okefi was arrested at Upper Iweka area of Onitsha, Anambra State with 483 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup concealed in two 50-litre kegs. A follow up operation led to the arrest of the actual owner, Osinachi Jasper.

NDLEA further stated that its commands across the country have intensified their War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy lectures which include; Sensitisation lectures for students of Fatahur Rahman Academy, Gumel, Jigawa State; students of Boys High School, Nawfia, Anambra State; students of Government Senior and Junior College, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Meanwhile, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the officers of Tincan, Lagos, Edo, Ogun, Kaduna, Kano, Anambra, Kebbi, Borno and FCT Commands for a job well done.

Gen. Marwa also lauded their counterparts across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures, thereby creating parity between their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction activities.

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