By Kingsley Omonobi, Abuja
A Brazil-based drug kingpin has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, who also intercepted 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing 27.95 kilogrammes with a street value of over N8 billion at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The drug lord, Ejiofor Felix Enwereaku, who leads a syndicate was arrested at the airport on May 14, 2021, for importing 27.95kg of cocaine using their organised criminal gang, which specialises in tagging/planting drugs in innocent travellers’ luggage.
Based on intelligence, narcotic agents at the MMIA had on May 8, 2021, intercepted a bag that arrived at the Lagos airport from GRU, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Ethiopian Airline with baggage tag No- ET331199 but was disclaimed by an arriving passenger on the flight.
The disclaimed bag was promptly secured by NDLEA operatives for investigation.
On May 9, 2021, a man came to the airport to inquire on how to get the disclaimed bag released. He was promptly arrested for investigation.
The disclaimed bag was opened in the presence of the arriving passenger and the man, who came to negotiate the release of the disputed bag. When it was opened, it was found that the bag contained 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing 27.95kg.
A follow-up sting operation was carried out, which led to the arrest of Ejiofor Felix Enwereaku, the prime suspect, on May 14 upon his arrival from Addis Ababa on board Ethiopian Airline.
During preliminary interrogation after his arrest, he confessed to having been contracted by his Ethiopian associate, who is a notorious drug baron, to claim and push out the consignment in Lagos, Nigeria.
He further admitted to having paid a $24,500 bribe in three tranches to compromise NDLEA officers.
The first was $10,000 delivered through his representative in Lagos and another $10, 000 via his FirstBank account while the third tranche of $4,500 was paid at the point of his arrest.
His group is suspected to be responsible for recruiting traffickers to move illicit drugs to various destinations using Nigeria as their transit location and also planting drugs in the luggage of innocent travellers.
Impressed by the outcome of the intelligence-led operational strategies that took weeks of painstaking efforts and closely monitored by him, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Marwa (retd) commended the Commander, MMIA Command of the agency, Ahmadu Garba, his officers and men for their diligence and resilience in following up every lead in the case until the kingpin was successfully entrapped and arrested.