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NDLEA nabs 1,274 parcels of cocaine, colorado, cannabis, arms in Lagos

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NDLEA arrests 417 suspects, secures 54 convictions in Oyo

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced on Sunday that its special units successfully intercepted large consignments of cocaine and Colorado, a potent strain of cannabis, concealed in containerized household items and vehicles imported from Durban, South Africa, and Canada at Lagos’ Tincan Seaport.

According to a statement signed by NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi, the interceptions occurred between Thursday, January 18th, and Friday, January 19th, 2024.

He said, “Following coordinated intelligence and months of tracking of the containers by three special units of NDLEA, the illicit drugs, along with arms, ammunition, and sundry military effects, were seized during joint examination of the three containers by the agency’s officers and their counterparts from Customs Service and other security agencies between Thursday, January 18th, and Friday, January 19th, 2024.

“Some of the agency’s sniffer dogs were also deployed to help identify locations and bags used in concealing the illicit items.

“Some of the items recovered from the containers include: 1, 274 parcels of Cocaine and Colorado with a total weight of 884.09 kilograms; four pistols; 197 rounds of 9mm ammunition; 49 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition; 275 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition; 14 rounds of 9mm ammunition; and various military personnel effects, as well as some chemicals in kegs.

“With the exception of a 32.5kg shipment of used vehicles from Canada, the rest of the items were found in two of three containers that arrived at the Tincan port from Durban, South Africa, onboard a vessel marked MSC RESILIENT III and discharged on New Year’s Eve,  December 31, 2023.

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Babafemi said, “A suspect linked to one of the containers, UACU 5348336, bearing the 32.5 kg of Colorado, 41-year-old Akara Chibugo, has already been tracked and arrested by NDLEA operatives.

“Two vigilant freight agents and a traveler escaped being roped into two drug trafficking operations by desperate traffickers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos.

“The two agents were contacted to send a consignment of 1 kg of cannabis concealed in tins of Milo beverage to Turkey but chose to submit the shipment to NDLEA checks before processing the cargo.

“The psychoactive substance was later discovered to be hidden inside the shipment.”.

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“In the same vein, NDLEA operatives arrested one Okosun Paul Punitt, the consignee of a consignment of tramadol concealed in a bottle of dietary supplements, which a staff member of Pathfinder International Ltd., Ajuzieogu Mac-Elvis Ugochukwu, attempted to send through an intending passenger on Ibom Air to Accra, Ghana, at the Lagos airport on Tuesday, January 16th.

“A video of the face-off between the passenger and Ajuzieogu later went viral after the vigilant passenger suspected the consignment contained illicit substances.

“Both Ajuzieogu and the exhibit were later transferred to NDLEA on January 18th by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, for investigation.

“Preliminary findings by NDLEA showed the parcel contained 50 pills of tramadol (225 mg) concealed in a bottle of dietary supplements.

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“A follow-up operation by the agency led to the arrest of Okosun upon his return from Ghana on Friday. He has, in his statement, confirmed ownership of the drug.

“In Kano, no fewer than five million, six hundred and fifty-three thousand (5,653,000) pills of tramadol 250mg and exol-5 were seized from three suspects.”

While Nura Abdullahi, 38, and Tahir Muhammad Mukhtar, 42, were arrested in Kano’s Bacharawa area on Sunday, January 14th, with 5,404,000 pills of tramadol 250mg, Yusuf Umar, 50, was apprehended in the state’s Gadar Tamburawa area the previous day, Saturday, January 13th, with 249,000 tablets of exol-5 by NDLEA agents.

In Lagos, two suspects, “Ali Abubakar and Murtala Sani, were arrested in the Ojodu Berger area on January 16th with 110kg of cannabis sativa, while 69kg of the same substance was recovered from the hideout of a fleeing suspect in Akerele, Surulere, the same day.

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“Not less than 2,800 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup were recovered by NDLEA officers on Saturday, January 20th, during a raid operation at Aleita FCT, Abuja.

“The suspected owner of the consignment, Jideofor Sochima, is still at large.

He added that “a total of 100,510 pills of opioids were seized from a suspect, Ike Emmanuel, 35, on Thursday, January 18th, at Dan-Anacha village, Taraba State, while NDLEA operatives in Abia State arrested 60-year-old Joseph Isiguzoro, as well as Emmanuel Eugene and Malachi Ndu in parts of Abia State with 34,200 pills of opioids.

“Isiguzoro was equally found with a monetary exhibit totaling two million eight hundred and eighty-five thousand and forty-five naira (N2,885,045).”

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