News

April 22, 2024

NDLEA nabs 3 wanted kingpins/cartel members over 51.90kg heroin

NDLEA bursts drug cartel, seizes 14.4m pills of opioids in Lagos raids

By Kingsley Omonobi

More than two months after they were declared wanted, operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested three members of an organised criminal organisation, which specialises in illicit drug trafficking across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe and America.

This followed the recent seizure of the single largest consignment of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos.

Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi said: “A total of 51.90 kilograms of heroin had been recovered from members of the drug cartel in an operation that began 10th February 2024 at the SAHCO Import Shed of the airport’s Cargo Terminal.

“The consignment was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines, with no less than 45 blocks of the illicit substance weighing 49.70kg recovered from the equipment, while additional 2.2kg was seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in Ayobo area of Lagos.

“While the agency has secured interim forfeiture court order on hotel, mansions, vehicles and funds traced to members of the syndicate after arresting four of them, a manhunt was also launched for others who went underground.

“The effort however paid off on Friday 19th April when two of the wanted kingpins: Onyinyechi Irene Igbokwuputa and Frankline Uzochukwu were arrested in Lagos and Awka, Anambra state respectively.

“Another wanted member of the syndicate, Osita Emmanuel Obinna was equally nabbed in Lagos.”

Similarly, the NDLEA said “attempt by a suspect, Iheakara Ifeanyichukwu Festus to export a drug consignment through the terminal 2 of the Lagos airport to Muscat, Oman via Ethiopian airline flight on Thursday 18th April was thwarted by NDLEA officers.

“When his luggage was searched, 20 big “parcels of cannabis weighing 9.80kg were discovered concealed in his bag.
“In his statement, the suspect who lives in Muscat, Oman and returned to Nigeria in 1st April, confessed he was hired to courier the drug with an agreement to get paid N1,200,000 upon successful delivery in Oman.”