How Abba Kyari worked to close a 25kg cocaine deal from Brazil – NDLEA
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday declared a top Nigeria police officer Abba Kyari wanted for alleged drug offences.
NDLEA said Abba Kyari, who was suspended for his relationship with fraudster Abass Olorunwa, better known as Hushpuppi, is a member of an international drug cartel
“With the intelligence at our disposal, the Agency believes strongly that DCP Kyari is a member of a drug cartel that operates the Brazil-Ethiopia-Nigeria illicit drug pipeline, and he needs to answer questions that crop up in an ongoing drug case in which he is the principal actor,” NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi said.
The anti-drug agency said it contacted the suspended police chief for questioning but he did not respond.
Kyari’s role in 25kg cocaine deal from Brazil to Ethiopia and Nigeria
The NDLEA narrated in a statement on Monday how Kyari was tried to convince its officials to release parts of 25 kilogrammes of cocaine seized from a suspect.
NDLEA said Kyari set up a meeting with its official and proposed a drug deal whereby he and his team are to take 15kg of the cocaine and leave 10kg for the prosecution of the suspect arrested with the illicit drug.
“In the meantime, the purloined cocaine will be replaced with a dummy worth 15kg. He asked the NDLEA officer to persuade men of the FCT Command, to play along as well,” Babafemi said in the statement.
NDLEA said it gave its official go-ahead at 11: 05 am on Monday, January 24, to “play along”. The official and Kyari made WhatsApp calls for the rest of the day. The officer expressed “willingness to play the game.”
At this point, NDLEA said Kyari disclosed that the 15kg (already taken out) was shared between the informants that provided information for the seizure and he and his men of the IRT of the Nigerian Police.
“According to him, the informants were given 7kg while his team took 8kg which was already sold,” NDLEA said.
“He then offered to pay the NDLEA team (that is the officer and the FCT commander) by selling, on their behalf, half of the remaining 10kg, thereby further reducing the original cocaine for the prosecution to just 5kg.
“At N7m per kilogram, the proceed from the 5kg would amount to N35m, at the exchange rate of N570 per dollar being the black market rate for the day, January 24, 2022. In effect, he would be delivering $61, 400 to the NDLEA team.”
NDLEA said Kyari put pressure on its officer to wrap up the arrangement with the commander of the FCT Command to take custody of the drug and suspects from his men who were on the ground in Abuja. At the time, he was speaking from Lagos, where he allegedly travelled for private business.
Kyari sensed betrayal and played ‘smart’
The next day January 25, NDLEA said Kyari offered to send his younger brother to deliver the payment while his men deliver the suspects, but our officer turned down the suggestion, insisting he would rather deal with him in person and was therefore prepared to wait for him to return from Lagos, NDLEA said.
And by 5: 23 pm of the same day, the agency said Kyari was in Abuja and met with the officer at the same rendezvous where they had the first meeting.
In their discussion, he allegedly disclosed how his team received the information from a “double-crosser” who betrayed the traffickers to him.
The agency said Kyari also narrated how acting on the tip-off, his team departed Abuja to Enugu and arrested the traffickers, removed part of the consignment on his instruction and replaced same with dummies.
It also said the police officer indicated how to identify the remnant of the original cocaine that would be delivered to NDLEA – five original packages marked with red dots.
“The reason for this was to avoid the dummies being subjected to test. He forwarded a picture of the marked original cocaine package,” NDLEA said. “According to the plan, once the 5kg cocaine has been tested in the presence of the suspects and confirmed positive, there would be no need to test the remaining ones, being dummies.
“He also brought with him the money from the sale of the 5kg share of the NDLEA team, a total of $61, 400. Our officer, however, preferred to take the money inside his car. Well, the car was wired with sound and video recorders. And the moment was documented, part of which I will play for you at the end of this briefing.”
No hiding place for Kyari
The NDLEA said it has “a trove of intelligence, hard facts, from chats to photos and video and a detailed transcript of the communication between him and the NDLEA officer.”
While the agency said it is yet to release some other details, it expressed disappointment “to hear straight from the horse’s mouth the kind of sleaze engaged in by this team of rogue law enforcement agents led by Kyari.”
The NDLEA said its renewed commitment to rid Nigeria of illegal drugs will not spare anyone even as highly placed as Kyari.
“Anybody who is in touch with the reality of the renewed drug war by NDLEA since January 18, 2021, would know that that was a tall order because our officers and men have rededicated themselves to the war against illicit drugs and what Kyari was asking for was not tenable, not in this new dispensation, not with the new NDLEA,” the agency said.