Crime Updated: April 21, 2024

NDLEA captures trio in international drug trafficking crackdown

By Adekunle Obas
April 21, 2024

Over two months after being declared wanted, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended three individuals belonging to an organized criminal group engaged in illicit drug trafficking across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe, and America.

This follows the recent seizure of the single largest consignment of heroin at the Lagos International Airport.

A total of 51.90 kilograms of heroin were recovered from members of the drug cartel in an operation that commenced on February 10, 2024, at the SAHCO Import Shed of the airport’s Cargo Terminal.

According to a statement on Sunday by Femi Babafemi, the Director of Media and Advocacy at the NDLEA, the consignment was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines.

The illicit substance, weighing 49.70kg, was found hidden within the equipment, while an additional 2.2kg was seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in the Ayobo area of Lagos.


Following the arrest of four members, the Agency has obtained an interim forfeiture court order on hotels, mansions, vehicles, and funds linked to the syndicate.

A manhunt was launched for others who went underground, leading to the arrest of two wanted kingpins, Onyinyechi Irene Igbokwuputa, and Franklin Uzochukwu, in Lagos and Awka, Anambra state, respectively, on April 19th.

Another wanted member of the syndicate, Osita Emmanuel Obinna, was also apprehended in Lagos.

In the same vein, the attempt by a suspect, Iheakara Ifeanyichukwu Festus to export a drug consignment through terminal 2 of the Lagos airport to Muscat, Oman via Ethiopian airline flight on 18th April was thwarted by NDLEA officers.

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 1st April, confessed he was hired to courier the drug with an agreement to get paid N1,200,000 upon successful delivery in Oman.


In Adamawa State, NDLEA operatives on Saturday intercepted a Peugeot car driven by Dahiru Mohammed at Girei on his way to Mubi with 1,250,000 pills of opioids weighing 450kg. The operatives had earlier intercepted along Ngurore -Yola road a J5 bus marked AAA790XV loaded with motor spare parts from Onitsha, Anambra State, with consignments of Codeine Syrup and Tramadol concealed in between the motor parts.

A follow-up operation led to the arrest of the recipient, Jairus Nwanchor at Jambutu Motor Park.

Three suspects: Beriakuma Vivian Chinrdu, Okpor Isaac and Daniel Onyeachom, were on Saturday, arrested at Amarata, Yenagoa, Bayelsa state in connection with the seizure of 69 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 36kg and concealed in a false compartment of a Toyota Picnic car marked MUS 711 DH they were travelling in.

This is even as NDLEA operatives in Imo state on 18th April arrested Kingsley Omeje at Amajeke, Owerri while he was taking delivery of 49 bottles of codeine syrup he ordered.

In Ondo state, NDLEA operatives raided the Oloro camp, Ogbese, Akure North LGA where they arrested Linus Odogwu and destroyed a total of 25,000 kilograms of cannabis on 10 hectares of farmland while they recovered 89.5kg of the same substance.


Three other suspects: David Obungete Ekepenyoung, Oluwaseun Folorunso and Rabiu Musa were nabbed in other parts of the state in connection to different seizures totaling 77kg.

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