NDLEA arrest 3 suspected wanted drug kingpins

…Intercepts Oman-bound drug consignment


Frankline Uzochukwu, one of the suspects

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has arrested three members of an organised criminal organisation, which specialises in illicit drug trafficking across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe and America following the recent seizure of the single largest consignment of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos.

NDLEA, Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi in a statement on Sunday, said the suspects were declared wanted over two months ago.

According to the statement, “A total of 51.90 kilograms of heroin had been recovered from members of the drug cartel in an operation that began February 10, 2024, at the SAHCO Import Shed of the airport’s Cargo Terminal.

One of the suspects

“The consignment was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines, with no less than 45 blocks of the illicit substance weighing 49.70kg recovered from the equipment, while additional 2.2kg was seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in Ayobo area of Lagos.

“While the agency has secured interim forfeiture court order on hotel, mansions, vehicles and funds traced to members of the syndicate after arresting four of them, a manhunt was also launched for others who went underground.

One of the suspects

“The effort however paid off on April 19,  when two of the wanted kingpins: Onyinyechi Igbokwuputa and Frankline Uzochukwu, were arrested in Lagos and Awka, Anambra state respectively.

“Another wanted member of the syndicate, Osita Obinna was equally nabbed in Lagos.

“In the same vein, the attempt by a suspect, Iheakara Festus to export a drug consignment through the terminal 2 of the Lagos airport to Muscat, Oman via Ethiopian airline flight on April 18, was thwarted by NDLEA officers.

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“When his luggage was searched, 20 big parcels of cannabis weighing 9.80kg were discovered concealed in his bag.

Dahiru Mohammed, one of the suspects

“In his statement, the suspect who lives in Muscat, Oman and returned to Nigeria in 1st April, confessed he was hired to courier the drug with an agreement to get paid N1,200,000 upon successful delivery in Oman.

“In Adamawa state, NDLEA operatives on April 20, intercepted a Peugeot car driven by Dahiru Mohammed at Girei on his way to Mubi with 1,250,000 pills of opioids weighing 450kg.

“The operatives had earlier intercepted along Ngurore -Yola road a J5 bus marked AAA790XV loaded with motor spare parts from Onitsha, Anambra State, with consignments of Codeine Syrup and Tramadol concealed in-between the motor parts.

“A follow up operation led to the arrest of the recipient, Jairus Nwanchor at Jambutu motor park .

“Three suspects: Beriakuma  Chinrdu, 40; Okpor Isaac, 68, and Daniel Onyeachom, 42, were on April 20, arrested at Amarata,Yenagoa, Bayelsa state in connection with the seizure of 69 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 36kg and concealed in a false compartment of a Toyota Picnic car marked MUS 711 DH they were travelling in.

“This is even as NDLEA operatives in Imo state on April 18,  arrested Kingsley Omeje, 41, at Amajeke, Owerri while he was taking delivery of 49 bottles of codeine syrup he ordered.

“In Ondo state, NDLEA operatives raided the Oloro camp, Ogbese, Akure North LGA where they arrested Linus Odogwu, 50, and destroyed a total of 25,000 kilograms of cannabis on 10 hectares of farmland while they recovered 89.5kg of same substance.

“Three other suspects: David Obungete Ekepenyoung, 22; Oluwaseun Folorunso,23; and Rabiu Musa, 32, were nabbed in other parts of the state in connection to different seizures totaling 77kg,” the statement added.

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