• Friday, June 21, 2024
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NDLEA recovers N19.8m cash from drug dealer

India-bound passenger arrested at Lagos airport

A string of fresh offensives against drug cartels in different parts of Nigeria has led to the recovery of N19.8m cash and the arrest of a fleeing drug kingpin heading a syndicate operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, and five other members of his gang.

The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officials also arrested a professional methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri) cook, in Owerri, Imo State, as well as a lawyer, in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.

A statement by Femi Babafemi, the NDLEA director of media and advocacy, said the Lagos airport drug syndicate was behind the smuggling of 1,584,000 tablets of tramadol seized on Tuesday, March 15 by the NDLEA operatives in collaboration with Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Nigerian Customs Service personnel at the airport.

The seizure includes 17 cartons of 250mg tramadol branded as “Tamra” weighing 669.70kg and five cartons of 225mg tramadol under the brand name “Royal” with a gross weight of 217.15kg.

The psychotropic substance, was imported into the country from Pakistan, smuggled through the airport tarmac using one of the vehicles of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) and was intercepted at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Personnel Yard.

Two suspects, Ofijeh Mowa, a SAHCO driver and Nyam Alex who is a security guard with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) were initially arrested in connection with the seizure.

Read also:  NAHCO unveils new businesses, renews Virgin, Delta airlines contracts, others

Further investigations by the NDLEA operatives, however, led to the arrest of five other persons involved in the crime, including the ringleader, Yunana Fidelis who fled Lagos to Kaduna the moment their lid was blown open.

Others include Adesanwo Temitope; Owoseni Temidayo; Fasoranti Shola and Bamigbade Jonathan.

Yunana Fidelis who is also a staff of NACHO had escaped and fled to Kaduna after depositing N19, 800,000.00 cash with a BDC operator to be paid later into his bank account.

After tracking him for days in Kaduna, on Friday, March 25, Fidelis relocated to Abuja where he was eventually arrested by the NDLEA operatives at 7pm on Sunday, March 27, while he was trying to collect N1, 000, 000.00 cash from an undercover agent who posed as a BDC operator.

In addition to recovering the cash Fidelis deposited with the BDC operator in Lagos, the agency had also placed a ‘post no debit order’ on his identified bank accounts.

The statement revealed further that a professional methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri) cook, Reuben Bekweri, 34, has also been arrested in Owerri while trying to distribute a kilogram of the illicit drug he cooked and packaged in seven nylon sachets in the Irete area of Imo State capital on Saturday, March 26.

In Ado Ekiti, narcotic officers on Monday March 28, also arrested a 42-year-old lawyer, Mayowa Oluwanisomo, in Zone 4, Embassy Island, Moferere area of the Ekiti State capital following a credible intelligence that he deals in psychotropic substances.

A total of 11, 570 tablets of tramadol weighing 7.3kilogram were recovered from him when his residence was searched. He admitted to the ownership of the drug exhibits, adding that he graduated from Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti and Abuja campus of the Nigerian Law School in 2016.