By Oamen Areguamen
THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA,Â has smashed a drug trafficking cartel operating in the country with stronghold in Pakistan.
Two boutiques have been sealed off in Lagos and other valuable assets including a Lexus SUV belonging to the suspected drug barons were also seized.
All four suspected members of the cartel including a clearing and forwarding agent at the Lagos airport as well as three business men believed to be the brain behind the illicit drug trafficking gang are being detained by the Agency.
They were arrested last weekÂ in connection with the unlawful importation of 2.4 kilogrammes of heroin from Lahore, Pakistan. The estimated street value of the drug is about N23 million.
The consignment of garments and sports goods with airway bill number 176-1503 6324 was sent in an Emirate flight.
In the airway bill, it was marked a sample shipment with no commercial value but buried inside it were six parcels of powdery substance found to be heroin, weighing 2.4kg.
The crackdown has exposed the key players of the criminal act who hitherto had used boutique business as a ruse in smuggling illicit drugs.
NDLEA Chairman, Mr Ahmadu Giade, vowed to unveil drug barons with more offensive in the offing.
Giade commended the his officers over what he described as â€œproactive and thorough investigation.â€
According to the NDLEA boss, â€œthis is a model case where officers displayed a rare investigative dexterity. All parties to the crime were successfully arrested. Several other cases under intense surveillance are near completion and more barons shall be unveiled. My operational promise to Nigerians is that they will soon know those behind the illicit trade and also see them brought to book.â€
A team of investigators have moved in to speedily complete investigation into the case preparatory to the arraignment of all suspects.
The NDLEA commander at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Alhaji Hamza Umar, gave the name of the clearing and forwarding agent to be Andrew Omoigui, 38, while other suspected drug barons are Monday Paul Edeh, 38 a.ka. Molue, Chidi Ugbaja,33, and Marcel Chibueze Udeze, 36. Similarly, preliminary findings by the anti-narcotic body have linked the suspects to a notorious drug trafficking cell operating in the country with affiliates in Pakistan.