. Arrests 70-year-old grandma, her son for drug trafficking as Agencys sniffer dogs uncover cocaine in India-bound shipment
Desperate attempts by transnational criminal organisations to flood Nigerian communities with large quantities of assorted illicit drugs during the yuletide season have been thwarted by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, who intercepted millions of tramadol 225mg pills, thousands of codeine syrup bottles and bags of Canadian Loud in consignments arriving the country ahead of the Christmas celebration.
At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos, all tricks employed by the drug syndicates to smuggle into the country seven million five hundred thousand (7,500,000) pills of tramadol 225mg through the NAHCO import shed of the airport were frustrated by NDLEA officers with the cooperation of men of the Nigeria Customs and other stakeholders.
The consignment which was taken into custody on Friday 22nd December came onboard Turkish airline with no country of manufacture or origin. Apart from being the first time such shipment would be seized on the airlines flight, it was equally the first of such coming from Hamburg, Germany. The 7.5million tramadol 225mg pills were also specially designed and packaged as tamol-x concealed in 100 big cartons weighing 7,150kg, which arrived the country on 11th December and placed under surveillance until last Friday. Preliminary test of the tablets proved positive to tramadol hydrochloride.
In the same vein, operatives of the Lagos Command of the Agency on Wednesday 20th December conducted a search operation on two shops marked Chex Mat Global Link Limited at Trade Fair complex in Ojo area of Lagos where 258 cartons of codeine-based cough syrup and eight cartons of codeine tablets were recovered. The cartons contain: 49, 200 bottles of codeine syrup and 46, 200 tablets of same opioid. The following day Thursday 21st December, NDLEA operatives raided a house in Mushin area of Lagos where a 70-year-old grandma, Selifat Funke Cole and her son, Babajide Ayorinde Cole were arrested with 117.900kg of cannabis sativa.
A consignment of spare parts that originated from Asaba, Delta state and going to Malviya Nagar, New Delhi, India was intercepted at the cargo terminal of the Lagos airport on Wednesday 20th December. NDLEA sniffer dogs were deployed to examine the spare parts. The dogs were able to identify the particular shipment containing illicit drug concealment, which a physical examination later confirmed to be cocaine measuring 200grams.
Not less than 70 parcels of Canadian Loud, a strong strain of cannabis, with a gross weight of 35kg were seized by operatives of the Tincan Command of NDLEA from a container, marked BEAU 4993525 coming from Toronto via Montreal, Canada. The container contained four used vehicles, including a Honda CRV 2006 model, where bags of the psychoactive substance were concealed.
In the FCT Abuja, NDLEA operatives on Monday 18th December intercepted a waybill consignment of 25,000 pills of tramadol, while their counterparts in Anambra arrested two suspects at Onitsha head bridge. Ejiro Emmanuel was driving a bus marked EFR 31 XB conveying 61,100 tramadol capsules; 1, 025 bottles of codeine; 1,350 tablets of rohypnol and 46grams of designer drug, while Daniel Ogbiyoyo was caught in a bus marked SAP 540 YK conveying 55,950 tramadol capsules; 3,117 bottles of codeine; 1,530 tablets of swinol and 1,350 tablets of rohypnol.
Operatives in Delta state on Monday 18th December in a joint operation with the military raided the home of a drug kingpin, Chukwuma Steven Eneriku at Okanaro street, Abbi town, where bags of cannabis weighing 353kg were recovered. Same day, NDLEA operatives in Enugu recovered bags of cannabis sativa weighing 435.1kg in a warehouse located at Trans Ekulu, Enugu East LGA.
In Edo state, five persons dressed in NDLEA operational jackets were arrested with a fabricated gun and pistol carved from wood following intelligence that they were impersonating as officers of the Agency and conducting illegal operations. The suspects include: Sebastine Asekiamhe, 22; Raymond Otaru, 28; Emmanuel Wisdom, 23; Solomon Edogamhe, 27; and Bonaventure Oghibui, 22. While some others in NDLEA jackets escaped, a bottle of codeine-based syrup was found with those arrested.
The Commands across the country balanced their drug supply reduction operations with War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaigns to schools, markets, worship centres and communities. Some of these include: WADA sensitisation lecture at Ikuduru LGA, Imo; WADA advocacy visit to Fuji music maestro, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, Ogun state; WADA advocacy visit to Kwara First Lady and Chairperson Nigeria Governors Wives Forum, Prof. Olufolake Abdulrazak, Ilorin; WADA sensitisation lecture to members of Jamaatu Fitayanul Islam at Aliyu Mustafa College, Yola and WADA advocacy visit to the Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Babatunde Aremu Akiolu.
While commending the efforts of the officers and men of MMIA, Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Enugu, Delta, FCT and Tincan Commands of the Agency as well as the K-9 Unit for jobs well done in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) urged them and their compatriots across the country to remain vigilant and get ready for the next phase of operations in the new year.