Operatives from various specialized units of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have successfully intercepted significant shipments of Cocaine and Colorado, a potent strain of cannabis. The illicit drugs were concealed within containerized household items and vehicles imported from Durban, South Africa, and Canada at the Tincan Seaport in Lagos.
Coordinated intelligence efforts and months of tracking by three special NDLEA units led to the seizure of these illicit substances, along with arms, ammunition, and various military effects. Joint examinations by NDLEA officers, Customs Service, and other security agencies took place between Thursday, January 18, and Friday, January 19, 2024. The deployment of NDLEA’s sniffer dogs aided in identifying locations and bags used to hide the illicit items.
The seized items included 1,274 parcels of Cocaine and Colorado weighing 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. While one shipment of Colorado (32.5kg) arrived in used vehicles from Canada, the rest were found in two containers from Durban, South Africa. A suspect linked to one of the containers, Akara Chibugo, was tracked and arrested.
Additionally, two vigilant freight agents and a traveler prevented two drug trafficking operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The agents, contacted to send a consignment of 1kg of cannabis concealed in Milo beverage tins to Turkey, chose to submit the shipment to NDLEA checks, leading to the discovery of the psychoactive substance.
In a similar event, NDLEA operatives arrested Okosun Paul Punitt, the consignee of a shipment of tramadol concealed in a bottle of dietary supplements. The staff of Pathfinder International Ltd, Ajuzieogu Mac-Elvis Ugochukwu, attempted to send the consignment to Accra, Ghana, but a vigilant passenger suspected illicit substances, leading to further investigation and the arrest of Okosun.
In Kano, NDLEA seized 5,653,000 pills of tramadol 250mg and exol-5 from three suspects. Two were arrested with 5,404,000 pills of tramadol 250mg, while another was nabbed with 249,000 tablets of exol-5. In Lagos, Ali Abubakar and Murtala Sani were arrested with 110kg of cannabis sativa, and 69kg of the same substance was recovered from the hideout of a fleeing suspect in Akerele, Surulere. A raid operation in Abuja led to the recovery of 2,800 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup, with the suspected owner, Jideofor Sochima, still at large.
In Taraba, NDLEA seized 100,510 pills of opioids from a suspect, Ike Emmanuel. In Abia state, a 60-year-old Joseph Isiguzoro, along with Emmanuel Eugene and Malachi Ndu, were arrested with 34,200 pills of opioids. Isiguzoro was also found with a monetary exhibit totaling N2,885,045.
The NDLEA’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign continued with sensitization lectures at various institutions, including the Federal University of Technology in Akwa Ibom, Federal Government College in Lagos, Edusoko University in Niger state, and Community Secondary School in Kano state.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers and men across various commands for their efforts in the arrests and seizures. He urged them to remain focused and resolute in achieving the agency’s goal of combating substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders.