Drug Trafficking

NDLEA Busts Cocaine Warehouse, Seizes N193b Worth Of Cocaine, Arrests Barons

Ola ‘Kiya, With Agency Reports

OPERATIVES of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in Ikorodu area of Lagos, arresting four barons.

Discovered seized in the warehouse were 1.8tons (1,855 kilograms) of the illicit drug worth more than $278, 250,000, equivalent of about N194, 775,000,000 in street value.

NDLEA Busts Cocaine Warehouse, Seizes N193b Worth Of Cocaine, Arrest Barons

The four suspects

Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters,  Abuja, made the disclosure in a statement on Monday. 

In the estimate of Babafemi, the bust appears as the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the history of Nigeria’s premier anti-narcotic agency.

According to him, no fewer than four drug barons, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager, have been arrested in the well-coordinated and intelligence-driven operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State.

NDLEA Busts Cocaine Warehouse, Seizes N193b Worth Of Cocaine, Arrest Barons

The  cocaine

He said kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody included: Messrs Soji Jibril, 69, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo State; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, who hails from Ekwulobia, Anambra State; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo State; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo State and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica.

They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the Agency has been trailing since 2018, he added.

Located at 6 Olukuola Crescent, Solebo Estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raided on Sunday 18th September, 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday 19th September.

Babafemi said preliminary investigation revealed the Class A drugs were warehoused in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world, adding that they were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums.

While commending all the officers and men of the agency involved in the extensive investigation including those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration, (US-DEA), Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the bust was a historical blow to the drug cartels and a strong warning that they’ll all go down if they failed to realise that the game had changed.

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