The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it confiscated 14,481,519 pills of hard drugs worth N13 billion at Amuwo Odofin and Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State.
In addition, the NDLEA arrested ten people for allegedly trafficking drugs, including three blind people and one businessman.
Femi Babafemi, the NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, announced this in a statement on Sunday.
The tramadol pills and bottles of codeine syrup were seized following raids by the NDLEA on various drug cartel hideouts in Amuwo Odofin, Surulere, and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company warehouse at the Lagos airport in the state, according to the spokesperson.
He stated, “No less than Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand, Five Hundred and Nineteen (14, 481, 519) pills of tramadol and bottles of codeine syrup worth over Thirteen Billion Naira (N13,000,000,000) in street value have been recovered by operatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in three major busts of drug cartels operating in Amuwo Odofin, Idumota, and the SAHCO shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos.
“The three intelligence-led operations began with the raid of House 8/10 Hon. Wahuha Avenue, Divine Estate, Ago Palace area of Amuwo Odofin on Sunday, October 29th, where 490,000 pills of tramadol and 81,519 bottles of codeine syrup measuring 4,510, 000 ml were recovered.
“In a similar operation on Tuesday, October 31st, NDLEA operatives swooped on a secret warehouse operated by a billionaire Idumota trader, Nwaoha Anayo, located at Onitire, Aguda area of Surulere, where twelve million seven hundred thousand (12, 700, 000) pills of tramadol were recovered.”
The spokesperson added, “In the same vein, at least six members of a syndicate using their official cover to facilitate the smuggling of illicit drugs through the Skyway Aviation Handling Company’s (SAHCO) warehouse at the Lagos airport into the country have been arrested, and one million two hundred and ten thousand (1,210, 000) pills of tramadol were seized from them in a painstaking operation that lasted for weeks. The six suspects already in NDLEA custody include Oladele Sanya-Olu, Lawal Itunu Temitope, Sanamo Alla Daniel, Udeh Felix Monday, Musa Mutalib, and Unege Evans Icibor, while three other suspects, Sarki Mubarak Salami, Abdullahi Aliyu (aka Aboki), and Monday Anwal, are now on the run and wanted by NDLEA.”
Nwokolo Ifeanyi Anthony, a businessman, was caught at Abuja International Airport while attempting to board a trip to the Netherlands with 86 pellets of heroin secreted in his abdomen, according to Babafemi.
“At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja, NDLEA operatives intercepted yet another businessman, 50-year-old Nwokolo Ifeanyi Anthony, during the outward clearance of Air France flight AF 878 to Amsterdam, Netherlands, via Paris, France, at the boarding gate and were body scanned. The result turned out to be positive for illicit drug ingestion.
“The suspect, who travelled from Lagos to board the flight, was subsequently kept under observation for some days, during which he excreted a total of 86 pellets of heroin weighing 1.330 kilogrammes.”
In another NDLEA operation, the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation team connected to courier services recovered 22 packets of cocaine concealed in a fabric carton.
“Similarly, NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, attached to courier firms on Monday, October 30th, intercepted 22 parcels of cocaine concealed in the walls of a carton containing sewn local fabrics popularly called Aso Oke, heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,” the statement noted.
In addition, three blind men operating a narcotics trafficking network between Lagos and Kano were apprehended in various locations around the country, while the agency’s Osun State Command dismantled a six-hectare cannabis farm.
It read further, “Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives have arrested three blind men operating an illicit drug ring between Lagos and Kano, while another blind member of the syndicate is still at large. The lid was blown off the group following the arrest of a blind suspect, Adamu Hassan, 40, along the Gwagwalada motorway in Abuja with 12 kg of skunk on his way from Lagos to Kano on Saturday, October r 28thInvestigations, however, established that he was oblivious to the contents of the bag handed to him to deliver in Kano.
“Follow-up operations then led to the arrest of the arrowhead of the syndicate, Bello Abubakar, 45, who is also blind. In his statement, Bello, who is married with five children, said he has been living in Lagos for 30 years but started the illicit drug business five years ago.
“Another suspect, Muktar Abubakar, 59, who is equally blind, has been living in Lagos for 40 years and is married to three wives with 14 children. Both Muktar Abubakar and Bello Abubakar are joint owners of the business, while the third suspect, Akilu Amadu, 25, also blind, equally contributes money to the criminal trade and was indeed the one who delivered the consignment to Adamu at the motor park in Lagos to deliver in Kano. Another blind suspect who is the expected receiver of the consignment in Kano, Mallam Aminu, is currently at large.”
“While operatives in Osun stormed the Obada sawmill forest in Owena-Ijesa, Oriade LGA, where they arrested a suspect, Monday Sylvester, 37, on a 6.01 hectare cannabis farm that was destroyed and 489.8 kg of already processed plant recovered, their colleagues in Edo raided a trans-loading point inside Avbiosi forest, Owan West LGA, where 603 kilogrammes of the illicit substance were seized.
“In addition, NDLEA officers in Ogun state recovered a Toyota Sienna bus from a ditch along the Lagos-Ibadan motorway on Friday, November 3rd.” A search of the vehicle led to the seizure of 460 kg of the same substance, while a total of 116.5 kg of cannabis sativa belonging to a suspect at large were seized at Olagunju, Mushin area of Lagos,” the statement added.