The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a kingpin wanted for attempts to ship illicit drug consignments to the United Kingdom.
This tops the list of arrests made by NDLEA Operatives through interdiction operations that led to the seizure of four tons of illicit substances in the past week.
A statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, on Sunday in Abuja said the suspect, Obiorah Chigozie, had been on the wanted list of the agency since September 15.
This, he said, was when a consignment of 1.500 kg of skunk concealed in flour going to London, UK, was intercepted at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) export shed of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja, Lagos.
Mr Babafemi said that his freight agent, Nworah Adaugo Precious, was arrested.
“Convinced that the 1.500kg consignment had sailed through, Chigozie walked into the agency’s dragnet on Sept. 28 when he personally brought another tranche of 2.00kg concealed in cartons to the airport for shipment to the UK.
“In his interview, Chigozie claimed he was into shoe sales in Lagos before venturing into the illicit drug business,” he said.
Meanwhile, operatives of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT command of the agency, intercepted a container truck with registration number BD G41 XM coming from Lagos to Kano at the Gwagwalada area of the FCT on September 29.
Also, Mr Babafemi said that no less than 1,188 kilogrammes of skunk loaded at Owo, Ondo State, and hidden under cartons of toothpaste were recovered from the truck and its driver, Amafan Fattison, 28, arrested.
Similarly, NDLEA officers in Bayelsa on September 27, seized 432 kg of the same substance from an abandoned J5 bus along Saipem Road, Opolo, Yenagoa.
Mr Babafemi said the vehicle was equally recovered from the scene for further investigation.
In Kano, a septuagenarian grandpa, Ado Unguwa, 70, was arrested on Saturday, September 30, with a 143.2 kg skunk in Dindere village, Tofa LGA.
Mr Babafemi said that operatives in Enugu the same day recovered 110.6 kg of the same substance from a locked-up shop at Aria New Market.
He added that operatives in Lagos also stormed the notorious Idi-Oro drug enclave in Mushin on Saturday, September 30, where they seized 212.5 kg of cannabis sativa belonging to a wanted drug lord.
This was even as NDLEA officers in Kwara recovered 104 kg of skunk from a Toyota Camry car in the Offa area of the state.
Mr Babafemi said that a Chadian, Mohammed Ibrahim, 25, was also nabbed at Mafa checkpoint in Borno with 11.8 kg of the same substance on Monday, September 25.
“In Plateau, the police command, in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, transferred four suspects: Yusuf Akim; Frank Gah; Jackson Ejeh, and Joseph Utsu
“1,978 kg of cannabis was recovered from them and sent to the state command of NDLEA, while in Cross River, operatives on Monday, Sept. 25, seized 40,000 ampules of pentazocine injection.
“Two suspects, Fajulugbe Adeshola, 35, and Nnaorji Agwe, 54, at Mobil by MCC Road, Calabar, were arrested.
“Also in Kogi, NDLEA officers on Wednesday, Sept. 27, arrested a suspect, Ifeanyi Odoh, 25, with 59,867 pills of opioids, including Tramadol, and 4.03 kg of cannabis sativa, at Idah area of the state,” he said.
Mr Babafemi quoted the NDLEA Chairman, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, FCT, Bayelsa, Borno, Kogi, Kwara, Cross River, Borno, and Enugu commands of the agency for the arrests and seizures of the past week.
Mr Marwa equally praised their counterparts in all the commands across the country for ensuring a fair balance between their drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts.