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NDLEA arrests kingpin in Lagos, impounds hard drugs worth ₦3.7bn

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have revealed that an attempt to smuggle in 98 cartons containing Five Million One Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand Nine Hundred (5, 122, 900) pills of Tramadol 225mg with an estimated street value of about Three Billion Seven Hundred Million Naira (N3.7billion) into Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, have been thwarted.

This was made possible according to Director, Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi by a collaborative efforts of the men of the Nigeria Customs Service and NDLEA officers at the airport as well as those at the DHL cargo warehouse.

Preliminary findings revealed that the consignments were imported from India and Pakistan, while some of the seized consignments had Freetown, Sierra Leone as the final destination.

The agency made this known in a statement posted on its official Twitter handle on Sunday.

Also revealed was the capture of a drug lord who was in the process of giving a suspected recruited courier 93 cocaine wraps to swallow in a Lagos hotel. The agency also disclosed that it recovered 12.4 million pills of opioids, 6,921.5 kg.

“It was a rude shock to find a notorious drug kingpin who specialises in sponsoring young Nigerians to traffick Class A drugs to Europe especially Italy, when operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, stormed his hotel room in Okota area of Lagos late on Friday 21st July when he was preparing a recruited courier to swallow 93 pellets of cocaine meant for distribution in Italy.

“The 48-year-old drug kingpin, Charles Uwagbale, had recruited Uju Dominic, 35, from his base in Italy with a deal to come to Nigeria, ingest 100 pellets of cocaine on Friday 21st July and return to Italy on Saturday 22nd July. True to plan, upon the arrival in Nigeria, the mule was lodged in Golden Heaven Hotel located at Enoma Street off Ago-Palace Way, Okota, Isolo, Lagos where Uwagbale brought 93 wraps of the Class A drug for him to swallow at about 23:45 pm Friday night.

“They were in the process when NDLEA operatives who have been on their trail following credible intelligence stormed their hotel room, arrested both and recovered the drug exhibits with a total weight of 1.427 kilograms.

“Operatives of the Lagos State Command of the Agency who made the arrest and seizure had on Thursday 20th July raided Akala in Mushin area of the state where they recovered 37.5kg cannabis from the home of a fleeing suspect”, the statement read in parts.

Also revealed was the recovery of a total of Six Million Two Hundred and Sixty-Five and Eighty (6,265,080) pills of opioids from three suspects: Emmanuel Onyebuchi, 32; Uche Iyida, 33; and Chinedu Ezeanyim, 32, following their arrest alongside a truck driver and his assistant at Shopping Complex, Maiduguri Bye-Pass, Bauchi town on Wednesday 19th July.

“Freash bid to smuggle into Nigeria, another consignment of Colorado, a synthetic variant of cannabis, through the Tincan port in Apapa Lagos was again on Friday 21st July frustrated by NDLEA officers who discovered a total of 323 parcels of the illicit substance weighing 161.5kg concealed in one of the four used vehicles in a container marked MEDU 7519460 coming from Montreal, Canada, during a joint examination of the shipment.

“At least, three suspects are currently in NDLEA custody over the shipment while a bribe of N20 million converted to $22,900 offered operatives by the importers agents has also been recovered and documented as evidence”, the agency relayed.

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