The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has intercepted consignments of illicit drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine and its precursor chemical, ephedrine meant for export to Europe and other locations outside the country.
The illicit drugs going to the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Cyprus were intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and some courier companies.
At least three traders at the Trade Fair Complex in the Ojo area of Lagos have been arrested by NDLEA operatives, the spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi revealed in a statement obtained by our correspondent on Sunday.
Babafemi said Nwudele Christopher, Chiedu Francis and Donatus Nwojiji were arrested in connection with attempts to export 52.10 kilograms of ephedrine, a precursor chemical and active ingredient for the production of methamphetamine, concealed in bunches of fishing threads and packed among other items in jumbo sacks that were intercepted at the SAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport on Sunday, January 31 and Monday, February 1.
He added that it took the painstaking efforts of NDLEA officers and the deployment of sniffer dogs to be able to discover the complex mode of concealment of the illicit substance.
Babafemi said, “At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, vigilant operatives of the agency on Monday, February 13, intercepted 29-year-old Apeh Ogbonna while attempting to board Turkish airline flight TK0624 going through Istanbul to Cyprus, with 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in false bottoms of his travelling bag.
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“The suspect claimed he was running a boutique business in Enugu before he decided to travel to Cyprus for a degree in Business Administration.
“At three different courier firms in Lagos, operatives intercepted two cocaine consignments weighing 400 grams each, going to the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.
“They were hidden in the walls of cartons used for packaging. Two other consignments containing 500 grams and 100 grams of methamphetamine were also blocked from being shipped to New Zealand after they were discovered concealed in food items.”
According to Babafemi, no fewer than 2,684,900 pills of tramadol and other pharmaceutical opioids were also seized by operatives during interdiction operations in some states in the past week.
In Adamawa, a total of 250,000 pills of tramadol and exol-5 as well as 1800ml of codeine neatly concealed in the reserve fuel tank of a trailer from Onitsha, Anambra state were seized at Mubi and a dealer, Hussaini Ibrahim (a.k.a Bafu) arrested.
While a total of 279,000 pills of tramadol 200mg and 225mg were recovered from a suspect, Hammajan Suleman, along Okene-Abuja highway in Kogi, on Monday, February 13, 376 blocks of skunk weighing 229.36kgs and a Toyota Camry car used in conveying the consignment from Edo State enroute Kano by another suspect, Moses Alabi were handed over to NDLEA by a patrol team of the Nigerian Army, in Lokoja on Tuesday, February 14.
In the same vein, two suspects, Christian Nnachor, 23 and Chinonso Obiora, 20, arrested with 1,843,900 tablets of Diazepam and 300,000 pills of Exol-5 by soldiers along Abuja-Kaduna express road were transferred to the Kaduna State Command of NDLEA on Monday, February 13, while Christopher Maduka, 43, was arrested with 10,000 ampoules of pentazocine injection by NDLEA operatives on Saturday, February 18 along Abuja-Kaduna highway.
The NDLEA’s spokesperson further noted that in Kano, Ahmed Rabiu was nabbed with 89 bottles of codeine syrup in the Badawa area of the state, while Amadu Musa and three others were arrested in Kofar Mata with 53 blocks of cannabis weighing 41.9kgs.
He added, “In Niger state, a trans-border trafficker, Abdullahi Isah was arrested along Jebba-Mokwa highway with 188 blocks of skunk that weighed 107 kilograms, which he was attempting to take to the Niger Republic.
“While 24kgs of Arizona variant of cannabis and 2,000 pills of opioids were recovered from Ibrahim Isiyaku along Nguru-Kano road in Yobe, no fewer than four suspects Usman Abubakar, a Chadian, Muhammad Ali, Ibrahim Yahaya and Babagana Abdullahi were arrested in connection with the seizure of 61.45kgs of cannabis and 22.1kgs of exol-5 in Jigawa with follow up operations in Kano. The consignments were ordered by Usman with a view to taking them to Chad.”