NDLEA Arrests Top Members of International Drug Syndicate

By Adedapo Adesanya

The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have interrupted the operations of an international drug syndicate with networks in parts of Nigeria, South Africa, and Thailand.

Also, no fewer than five members of the cartel were arrested in a two-week intelligence-led operation in Lagos, Abia and Anambra states following the seizure of their illicit drug consignments at the NAHCO import shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.

In a statement on Sunday by NDLEA spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi, the agency said the unravelling of the drug cartel started on Sunday, April 20, 2024, when their cargo of four big suitcases arrived at the NAHCO shed on an Air Peace airline flight from Johannesburg, South Africa.

He said that the first suspect, Mr Umeh Chisom Peter, was arrested on Wednesday, April 24 after he showed up to pick up two of the suitcases containing loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis owned by a Thailand-based member of the syndicate, Mr Obum Michael.

According to Mr Babafemi, the consignment of four parcels was concealed in false bottoms of the two suitcases, while the four suitcases contained 17.6 kilograms of Loud and drug candies.

He said another member of the syndicate, Mrs Chiwendu Uche Ugbe, whose South Africa-based husband, Mr Aloytus Uche Ugbe, sent some of the consignments, was traced to Anambra State where NDLEA officers arrested her on Saturday, April 27 while attempting to collect the drug parcels sent to her by her husband.

Two other suspects, Mr Onyejakor Francis Chimezie and Mr Naaji Valentine Chukwukere, with links to the cartel, were also arrested in parts of Lagos on Monday, April 29.

The NDLEA stated that their arrest led to another operation in Abia State where Mrs Chinazo Osigwe was apprehended when she was to pick up some of the parcels containing Loud and drug candies sent by her husband, Mr Osigwe Chidiebere Anthony, who is equally operating from South Africa.

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