NDLEA Dismantles International Drug Syndicate, Arrests Five Members

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has successfully dismantled an international drug syndicate with operations spanning Nigeria, South Africa, and Thailand. The agency’s concerted efforts led to the arrest of five key members of the cartel and the seizure of substantial quantities of illicit drugs.

The breakthrough was the result of a two-week intelligence-led operation conducted across Lagos, Abia, and Anambra states. The operation culminated in the capture of the syndicate’s drug consignments at the NAHCO import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos.

The unraveling of the drug cartel began when four large suitcases arrived at the NAHCO shed on an Air Peace airline flight from Johannesburg, South Africa. After days of meticulous monitoring and investigation, the first suspect, Umeh Peter, was apprehended on April 24th as he attempted to retrieve two of the suitcases containing ‘Loud,’ a synthetic strain of cannabis, linked to a Thailand-based member of the syndicate.

The NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, revealed that the consignment was ingeniously concealed within false bottoms of the suitcases. In total, the four suitcases contained 17.6 kilograms of ‘Loud’ and drug candies.

Further arrests included Chiwendu Ugbe in Anambra State, who was connected to the cartel through her South Africa-based husband, and two other suspects, Onyejakor Francis Chimezie and Naaji Valentine Chukwukere, who were arrested in Lagos. The operation extended to Abia State, where Chinazo Osigwe was detained as she was about to collect parcels containing ‘Loud’ and drug candies sent by her husband, who operates from South Africa.

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In a related operation, NDLEA operatives intercepted a gas tanker on the Abuja-Abaji highway on May 1st. A thorough search revealed 4,752kg of cannabis sativa concealed within the tanker, which was loaded in Ondo State and destined for distribution in Abuja. Four individuals were arrested in connection with this seizure.

These arrests and seizures underscore the NDLEA’s unwavering commitment to eradicating the menace of drug trafficking and its associated crimes within Nigeria and beyond. The agency continues to work diligently to disrupt the activities of drug syndicates and bring those involved to justice.

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