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NDLEA seizes N194bn cocaine, arrests five

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In what appears to be the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the history of Nigeria’s anti-narcotic agency, officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, have busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, where 1.8tons (1,855 kilograms) of illicit drugs worth over $278,250,000, an equivalent of about N194.7bn in street value were seized.

The warehouse was raided, Sunday, September 18, 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday, September 19.

The NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, Monday, revealed that at least, four drug barons including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager had been arrested in the well coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos, following the operation.

Kingpins of the cocaine cartel now in custody include 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.

Babafemi said, “They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the Agency has been trailing since 2018. Located at number 6 Olukuola crescent, Solebo Estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raided on Sunday, September, 18, 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday, September 19.

“Preliminary investigation reveals 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. They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums.”

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