May 20, 2024

NDLEA nabs 4 members of cocaine cartel operating between India, Nigeria

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

…Declares couple wanted over cocaine seizures

By Kingsley Omonobi

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested four members of a drug cartel, which runs a cocaine cartel from India to Lagos with a Sports Utility Vehicle and two houses belonging to the syndicate, already traced to them sealed for forfeiture to the Federal Government.

This came as a couple, Kazeem Owoalade and Rashidat Owoalade, also members of the cartel have been declared wanted by NDLEA in connection with cocaine trade

Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, who made this known, yesterday, said: “Two other members of the syndicate, Imran Olalekan and Ishola Olalekan were arrested on April 3, 2024, following their bid to export 3.40kg cocaine on a Qatar Airlines flight going to Oman through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.

“While Imran was the courier conveying the drug consignment to Oman, Ishola recruited him for the head of the cartel, which investigation has now revealed to be Alhaji Kazeem Owoalade, whose Indian residence permit bears Abdul Qassim Balogun based in India.

“Efforts to dismantle his network in Nigeria paid off after five weeks of surveillance and follow up operations when another member of the syndicate, Hamed Saheed, who works directly with the baron was arrested on May 14, at Abule Egba area of Lagos.

“It was indeed Saheed, who lodged Imran in a hotel a day before his aborted trip to Oman and equally dropped him and Ishola at the Lagos airport the day they were arrested.

“During a search of Hamed house, NDLEA operatives recovered some phenacetine, a cutting agent for cocaine, weighing 900 grams.

“He confessed that the recovered substance was what was left of the consignment Imran was taking to Oman the day he was arrested.

“His arrest led to a follow up operation at the home of the Owoalade couple at 20 Eyiaro Street, Ogudu Orioke, Lagos, where another suspect was arrested and a new model Toyota RAV4 SUV with number plate, FKJ-773 JJ, belonging to Rashidat and additional 400 grams of cocaine recovered in addition to already prepared suitcases to be used for illicit drug concealment, digital weighing scales and other paraphernalia.”