Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted over 37.5 kilogrammes of illicit substances at airport and seaport in Lagos in the last one week.
The anti-narcotics agency also arrested 11 suspects in interdiction operations across the country during which seizures of almost four tonnes of skunk were recorded in the same period.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi said attempts by elements of Organised Criminal Groups to use various disingenuous modes of concealment to import consignments of illicit substances into Nigeria and export same to the United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirate through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Tincan seaport, Lagos were thwarted.
He said: “No less than 37.5 kilogrammes of such illicit consignments were intercepted in the past week, with the arrest of 11 suspects in interdiction operations that led to the seizure of almost four tons of skunk in Kaduna, Kano and Lagos state.”
Babafemi disclosed that at the Lagos airport, a freight agent Ogunsina Damilare was arrested last Friday following a bid to export 1.5 kilogrammes of skunk hidden in foodstuffs to Dubai, UAE through the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA, while a similar attempt to ship 11.5 kilogrammes of the same substance to the United Kingdom was frustrated when the consignment concealed in a giant wooden sculpture was intercepted by NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations (DOGI) at a courier company in Lagos.
He added that: “Curiously, the latter emanated from Ghana with London as destination.”
He said at the Tincan port in Lagos, a shipment of 24.5 kilogrammes cannabis indica to Nigeria from Montreal, Canada was intercepted by operatives while a bribe of N8 million offered to NDLEA officers by the importer has been secured in an account for the prosecution of the case.
He revealed that while the importer, Cedrick Maduweke is still at large, one of his accomplices, Steve Adigwe has been arrested, noting that the consignment was hidden in a used Toyota Sienna vehicle that arrived the port along with three other cars in a container marked MSMU 5082733.
Babafemi also disclosed that a total of 3,672 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa were recovered from two locations and five suspects arrested in Kaduna during separate raid operations.
He said arrested at a warehouse at Rido village last Wednesday include: Edward Emmanuel, 28; and Miracle Madu, with 298 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 3,576 kilogrammes.
He said investigations revealed that the consignment was moved from a southern state to Kaduna in a petroleum product bearing truck, adding that two other suspects: Sunday Bassey, 29 and Jessica Daniel, 14, were nabbed with 96 kilogrammes of same substance at Gonin Gora area of the state, while Sanusi Isah, 30, was arrested last Saturday at Giwa area with over 12,000 tablets of tramadol 225mg and Diazepam.
In Kano, NDLEA operatives last Saturday intercepted Kabiru Abdulhamid, 40, with 119 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 73 kilogrammes at Semugu area, while a total of 28,400 tablets of tramadol and over 230 kilogrammes of cannabis were seized in raid operations in Festac town and Lagos Island areas of Lagos state.
He said some of the suspects arrested in the Lagos raids include: Rukayyat Eshinlokun; Pelumi Alejo and Banna Maina who specializes in distribution of illicit drugs disguised as a dispatch rider.
He said in Imo state, a suspect, Amechi Moses was arrested in a follow up operation last Friday following the interception of 29,800 tablets of tramadol 225mg in a commercial bus along Owerri – Onitsha road going to Aba in Abia state.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the officers and men of Tincan, MMIA, DOGI, Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and Imo Commands for the arrests and seizures, charged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria, urging them to balance their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.