NDLEA Arrests Three Wanted Kingpins, Thwarts Oman-bound Drug Consignment


By Anne Osemekeh, Abuja

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested three members of an organized criminal organization which specializes in illicit drug trafficking across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe and America.

The anti-narcotics agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

It will be recalled that the NDLEA had recovered a total of 51.90 kilograms of heroine from members of the drug cartel in an operation that began 10th February 2024 at the SAHCO Import Shed of the airport’s Cargo Terminal. The agency described the seizure as “the single largest consignment of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos”.

The consignment was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines, with no less than 45 blocks of the illicit substance weighing 49.70kg recovered from the equipment, while additional 2.2kg was seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in Ayobo area of Lagos.

The Agency then secured interim forfeiture court order on hotel, mansions, vehicles and funds traced to members of the syndicate after arresting four of them.

Babafemi said that the manhunt the agency launched for the others who went underground paid off on Friday 19th April when two of the wanted kingpins: Onyinyechi Irene Igbokwuputa and Frankline Uzochukwu, were arrested in Lagos and Awka, Anambra State respectively.

Another wanted member of the syndicate, Osita Emmanuel Obinna was equally nabbed in Lagos.

In the same vein, operatives thwarted the attempt by a suspect, Iheakara Ifeanyichukwu Festus, to export a drug consignment through the terminal 2 of the Lagos airport to Muscat, Oman via Ethiopian airline flight on Thursday 18th April.

A search carried out on his luggage revealed 20 big parcels of cannabis weighing 9.80kg. In his statement, the suspect, who lives in Muscat, Oman and returned to Nigeria on 1st April, confessed he was hired to courier the drug with an agreement to get paid N1,200,000 upon successful delivery in Oman.

Furthermore, operatives arrested three suspects: Beriakuma Vivian Chinrdu, Okpor Isaac and Daniel Onyeachom on Saturday 20th April at Amarata,Yenagoa, Bayelsa State in connection with the seizure of 69 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 36kg and concealed in a false compartment of a Toyota Picnic car marked MUS 711 DH in which they were travelling.

In Ondo State, NDLEA operatives raided the Oloro camp, Ogbese, Akure North LGA where they arrested Linus Odogwu, and destroyed a total of 25,000 kilograms of cannabis on 10 hectares of farmland while they recovered 89.5kg of same substance. Three other suspects: David Obungete Ekepenyoung, Oluwaseun Folorunso, and Rabiu Musa, 32, were nabbed in other parts of the State in connection to different seizures totaling 77kg.

Similarly, Commands across the country intensified their War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy lectures. These include: WADA sensitisation lecture to students and staff of St. Dominick High School, Makurdi, Benue state; students and staff of Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure, Jigawa state; traders at timber market, Umuokpo, Awka, Anambra and WADA advocacy visit to Methodist Church (Bishop Court) Abeokuta, Ogun state, among others.

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