2 suspected drug barons in NDLEA custody

…. 2 others for ingesting 175 wraps of heroin
Hakeem Salami, one the suspected drug baron


National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested  two wanted heads of transnational criminal organisations with multi-billion-naira worth of illicit drugs.
The agency also seized assets from them after weeks of intelligence-led operations across the country and outside Nigeria.
The arrest of the wanted suspected drug lords came on the heels of the interception of consignments of cocaine and heroin buried in the bellies of two traffickers heading to Paris, France and Doha, Qatar by NDLEA officers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja.
NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos, on October 10, succeeded in taking into custody, Hakeem Salami, the arrowhead of “Tajudeen Abioye Transnational Criminal Organisation.”
Organisation involved in illicit trade of several narcotics
The organisation is involved in the illicit trade of several narcotics, including Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, and Ephedrine between Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Europe.
Salami fled to South Africa
He was said to have fled Nigeria to South Africa upon the arrest of a member of his syndicate, Suleiman Oba at the Lagos airport on August 25, over attempt to export 25.10kgs of ephedrine to South Africa.
Drugs seized from him
NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi in a statement on Sunday, said:
“Salami was, however, smoked out of hiding through partnership with South African authorities and other intelligence and investigative mechanisms.
“While some of his luxury vehicles have been seized and his home in Surulere Lagos sealed, other members of the cartel already in custody include Suleiman and Godwin Mathew.
“In his statement, he claimed he was into the importation of building materials from China to Nigeria and used to sell gold in South Africa before delving into the illicit drug trade about two years ago.
Head of another cartel, his wife also taken into custody 
“The head of another cartel, Okafor Williams (aka Jantu) and his wife, Okafor Grace were also taken into custody on October 5, when NDLEA operatives raided their hideout at 9 Awa Street, Ago Palace, Okota area of Lagos.
“Recovered from them were 27.566 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in a blue box and two sacks, ready for export to Europe and Asia.
“Their Lexus RX350 marked ABJ 512 AY parked in the house was also seized during the operation.
Nwofor Charles, one of the suspects
“Their arrest followed weeks of intelligence gathering about the activities of the criminal network,” NDLEA added.
It added that, “At the Abuja airport, operatives on October 6, arrested a drug trafficker, Nwofor Charles, 45, during the outward clearance of Qatar Airways flight QR 1432 to Doha.
“After body scan revealed he ingested cocaine, he was placed under observation during which he excreted 75 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.653kgs.
“At the point of his arrest, Nwofor who was the last passenger to board his flight offered to compromise an NDLEA officer with $3,000 to free him.
“The following day, October 7, another trafficker, Nwufo Okwudili, 45, was also arrested while attempting to board Lufthansa Airlines flight LH 0595 to Paris, France via Frankfurt, Germany.
Suspect excretes 96 wraps of heroin
“After being put through body scanner, he was taken into recovery room where he excreted 96 wraps of heroin he ingested with a total weight of 1.413kgs,” the agency added.
“Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on patrol along Okene -Lokoja-Abuja expressway on October 10,  intercepted a commercial bus coming from Lagos to Kano.
“A search of the bus led to the seizure of $4.880million and CFA57million suspected to be counterfeits,” it added.

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