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NDLEA arrests 3 wanted kingpins, seizes 51.90kg heroin

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The 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.

 

The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja.

 

Babafemi said the suspected drug traffickers had been declared wanted for over two months by the agency.

 

He said their arrest followed the recent seizure of the single largest consignment of heroin intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos.

 

“A total of 51.90 kilograms of heroin had been recovered from members of the drug cartel in an operation that began on  Feb. 10 at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Import Shed of the airport’s Cargo Terminal.

 

“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.

 

“Also, an additional 2.2kg was seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in Ayobo area of Lagos, “he said.

 

According to Babafemi, the agency has secured interim forfeiture court order on hotel, mansions, vehicles and funds traced to members of the syndicate after arresting them.

 

“Then, a manhunt was also launched for others who went underground.

 

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

 

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

 

In the same vein, NDLEA operatives thwarted an attempt by a suspect, Festus Iheakara, to export a drug consignment.

 

Babafemi said the drugs were exported through the terminal 2 of the Lagos airport to Muscat, Oman via Ethiopian Airline flight on Thursday, April 18.

 

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

 

“In his statement, the suspect who lives in Muscat, Oman and returned to Nigeria on April 1,  confessed he was hired to courier the drug.

 

“This, he said,  came with an agreement to get paid N1,200,000 upon successful delivery in Oman,” Babafemi said.

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