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How NDLEA arrested Italy-bound drug baron who ingested 95 pellets of heroin

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THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 36-year-old Nigerian based in Italy, Nwakanma Michael Uche, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja, for drug trafficking.

Nwakanma Michael Uche

In a statement, Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA, said Nwakanma was arrested after he was discovered to have ingested 95 pellets of heroin.

The suspect, who hails from Arodizuogu Village, Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State, was nabbed while trying to board an Air France Airline flight heading for Milan, Italy, on May 15.

Nwakanma was thereafter kept under observation, during which he excreted 95 pellets of the illicit drug.

According to the NDLEA, the suspect confessed that he was promised the sum of N1.5 million to deliver the substance on his return to Italy.

“He claimed he came to see his parents in Nigeria after 12 years in Italy and complete his father’s traditional marriage rites.

“He added that he was to be paid N1.5 million after successfully delivering the drugs in Milan,” the statement said.

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Meanwhile, according to the NDLEA, a wanted drug kingpin behind the 2000.6kg consignment of cannabis sativa seized in a concrete mixer truck in Adamawa State in December 2021 has been arrested.

The suspect, Henry Chukwuneku Okamaru (a.k.a. Lawrence Ik Okamaru) was arrested in Ondo State after five months manhunt by operatives of the NDLEA.

Henry Chukwuneku Okamaru (a.k.a. Lawrence Ik Okamaru)

“Two suspects: Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nmborgwu, were arrested in connection to the consignment last December.

“They had confessed that the concrete mixer truck with Lagos registration number SMK 890 XB was loaded with the illicit drug in Ogbese, Ondo State, while they travelled for two months on the road before arriving Adamawa where NDLEA operatives eventually arrested them.

“The drug lord has also been identified as a member of an international drug trafficking ring while he shuttles between Nigeria and South Africa, where he settled his family,” the statement added.

The NDLEA said Okamaru has a substantial control and stake in cannabis cultivation in Ondo, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states, with ample storage facilities in Lagos and Abbi in Delta State, from where his consignments are distributed year-round.

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