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NDLEA arrests 11 suspects, intercepts drug consignments in wooden statue, imported vehicle

By Bertram Nwannekanma
09 January 2023   |   3:36 am
Operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested 11 suspects in interdiction operations that led to seizure of almost four tons of skunk in Kaduna, Kano and Lagos states.


•Seizes 3,975kgs skunk, 58,200 tramadol pills in Kaduna, Kano, Imo, Lagos raids

Operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested 11 suspects in interdiction operations that led to seizure of almost four tons of skunk in Kaduna, Kano and Lagos states.

The operatives also thwarted attempts by elements of organised criminal groups to use various disingenuous modes of concealment to import consignments of illicit substances into Nigeria and export same to the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirate through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja and Tincan seaport in Lagos. 
Spokesperson for the agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, said about 37.5 kilogrammes of such illicit consignments were intercepted in the past week.
According to him, a freight agent, Ogunsina Damilare, was arrested at the Lagos airport, on Friday, January 6, following a bid to export 1.5 kilogrammes of skunk hidden in foodstuffs to Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE) through Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) export shed of the MMIA.
Also, a similar attempt to ship 11.5kgs of same substance to the United Kingdom, he said, was frustrated when the consignment concealed in a giant wooden sculpture was intercepted by NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations (DOGI) at a courier company in Lagos. Curiously, the latter emanated from Ghana with London as the destination.
He said:  “At the Tincan port in Lagos, a shipment of 24.5kilogrammes Cannabis indica to Nigeria from Montreal, Canada, was intercepted by operatives while an N8 million bribe offered NDLEA officers by the importer has been secured in an account for the prosecution of the case.
“While the importer, Cedrick Maduweke is still at large, one of his accomplices, Steve Isioma Adigwe, has been arrested. The consignment was hidden in a used Toyota Sienna vehicle that arrived at the port along with three other cars in a container marked MSMU 5082733.                    
“A total of 3, 672 kilogrammes of Cannabis sativa were recovered from two locations and five suspects arrested in Kaduna during separate raid operations.  Arrested at a warehouse at Rido village on Wednesday, January 3, include: Edward Emmanuel, 28; and Miracle Madu, with 298 bags of Cannabis sativa weighing 3,576kgs.  
“Investigations revealed that the consignment was moved from a southern state to Kaduna in a petroleum product bearing truck. Also, two other suspects: Sunday Bassey, 29, and Jessica Daniel, 14, were nabbed with 96kgs of same substance at Gonin Gora area of the state, while Sanusi Isah, 30, was arrested on Saturday, January 7, at Giwa area with over 12,000 tablets of tramadol 225mg and Diazepam.
“In Kano, NDLEA operatives on Saturday, January 7, intercepted Kabiru Abdulhamid, 40, with 119 blocks of Cannabis sativa weighing 73kgs at Semugu area, while a total of 28,400 tablets of tramadol and over 230kgs of Cannabis sativa were seized in raid operations in Festac town and Lagos Island areas of Lagos State.  
“Some of the suspects arrested in the Lagos raids include: Rukayyat Eshinlokun; Pelumi Alejo and Banna Maina, who specialises in distribution of illicit drugs disguised as a dispatch rider.
“In Imo State, a suspect, Amechi Moses was arrested in a follow up operation on Friday, January 6, following the interception of 29, 800 tablets of tramadol 225mg in a commercial bus along Owerri – Onitsha road going to Aba in Abia State.”

MEANWHILE, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended the officers and men of Tincan, MMIA, DOGI, Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and Imo Commands for the arrests and seizures. 
He charged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.