Five kingpins, including a businessman at Alaba international market, Lagos, have been arrested by operatives of the National Dr¥g Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The suspects, who are said to be leaders of a trans-border dr¥g cartel operating in parts of the world, were arrested in a special operation that lasted weeks.
NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday, January 29, said different quantities of skunk, methamphetamine and ephedrine as well as air compressors used to conceal and distribute them globally were recovered during the operation.
According to him, “Leaders of the cartel which spreads across Dubai, UAE; Cotonou, Benin Republic; Togo; Oman, Thailand and Europe as well as Lagos, Imo and Onitsha in Anambra state, had while on Christmas and New Year holidays in their villages were still coordinating efforts to send their illicit consignments to Dubai and other parts of the world.
Their lid was blown open on Thursday, December 29, 2022 when their freight agent, Onyeisue Collins Chukwudi, was arrested by NDLEA officers at the Lagos international airport for attempting to export three big automobile air compressors to Dubai.
A quick follow up operation led to the recovery of additional five compressors at his home in Ayobo area of Lagos. A total of 27.50kgs of skunk were taken out of the air compressors after welding equipment were used to cut them open.”
Other suspects arrested include: Onuoha Peter Obioma — Togo-based businessman, Dubai-based Ugo Kelechi Alex (aka KC), Iwueke Ugochukwu (aka Odugwu) — an Anambra-based businessman, and the head of the cartel identified as Ezenwekwe Obinna Nicodemus — an automobile parts dealer at Alaba International market, Lagos.
A Lexus SUV and a Toyota jeep were immediately recovered from Kelechi and Iwueke while a search of Ezenwekwe home led to the recovery of 607 grams of ephedrine, a handful of Cannabis weighing 20 grams as well as other paraphernalia.