NDLEA smashes 2 drug cartels, recovers multi-billion-naira cocaine

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has smashed a cocaine trafficking cartel led by a couple, Lookman Dauda and Olayinka Toheebat Dauda, and recovered multi-billion-naira worth of illicit drugs.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi on Tuesday in Abuja.

Babafemi said that the seizures were made in two major operations following the arrest of the suspects in one of the intelligence-led raids.

He said that the duo were arrested on Saturday, May 25,  by operatives of a special operations unit in NDLEA.

According to him,  the interdiction was with the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States.

Babafemi said that the suspects were arrested at Ibiye, a community near Badagry, while attempting to cross the land border to deliver the consignment in Ghana.

He said that at the point of their arrest, 42 blocks of the Class A drug weighing 47.5 kilograms were found on them.

“A swift follow up operation in their residence at Plot 24/25 OPIC Extension, Petedo road, Agbara, Ogun, led to the recovery of additional eight blocks of the same drug weighing 10kg.

“This brought the  total weight of the cocaine seized from the couple to 57.5 kilograms, “he said.

In separate raid by the special operations unit, no fewer than 1,100 ampoules of lethal synthetic opioid, fentanyl, weighing 6.48kg were recovered.

The NDLEA spokesman said that the drugs were recovered from a member of a drug trafficking syndicate, 34-year-old Ikeh Stanley Ifeanyi at the popular Idumota market in Lagos Island.

Also, no less than 790 ampoules of the dangerous opioid, weighing 5.273kg were equally seized from another member of the fentanyl syndicate, 48-year-old Chieze Ogechukwu Benjamin, at Idumota market.

“Fentanyl, a lethal synthetic opioid, which is 100 times more potent than heroin is currently responsible for over 70 per cent  overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S., “he said.

Babafemi said that two other persons: Olayiwola Aremu, 37, and Ogunfowora Ajibola, 35, were arrested on Lagos Island in a different raid by NDLEA officers with 432 grammes of methamphetamine recovered from them.

Similarly at the Tincan port in Lagos, NDLEA operatives on Saturday, May 25,  intercepted 15 parcels of Loud.

Babafemi, who described it as a synthetic strain of marijuana,  said that it weighed 7.5kg and was concealed in the doors and body crevices of a Toyota Highlander SUV in a container marked MSMU 7294325.

“The container declared as containing three units of used vehicles,  including the Toyota Highlander originated from Toronto and shipped to Nigeria via Montreal, Canada.

“A swift follow up operation led to the arrest of two suspects:one Sunday Sodade and Oriyomi Adesina, who were to receive the vehicle and the drug consignment.

“A bribe of N6 million offered to NDLEA officers by the sender of the container based in Canada through his agent has also been registered as exhibit for the prosecution of the case, “he said.

Reacting to the arrests and  seizure of the dangerous illicit drugs, NDLEA Chairman, retired, Brig.- Gen. Buba Marwa commended the officers and men of the unit for their resilience in taking down drug cartels and barons.

Marwa equally praised the result-oriented collaboration between NDLEA and its local and international partners.

He urged all commands and formations of the agency to remain unrelenting in their offensive against the drug underworld.(NAN)


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