OPERATIVES of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a wanted drug kingpin, Onyeaghalachi Stephen Nwagwugwu, after nine years of hunting for him.
According to the NDLEA, Nwagwugwu and his elder brother, Eze Kaleb Stephen, who hail from Abia State, are major sources of illicit drug supplies in the South-East and South-South parts of the country.
His elder brother Eze who is in the trade with him has also been declared wanted after narrowly escaping arrest, the agency said.
According to Femi Babafemi, the Director of Media and Advocacy, the anti-narcotic agency also sealed hotels, mansions, and bank accounts linked to the suspects and recovered exotic vehicles.
“The elder brother, Eze Kaleb Stephen, who is also wanted, narrowly escaped during the overnight operation carried out simultaneously in their two locations: Umuahia and Ntigha Okpuola community in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Abia state.
“Investigations show the two notorious brothers began a career in the illicit drug business since the late 90s when they started as pocket dealers before they later established smoking joints/bunks in their community, Ntigha Okpuola and subsequently grew to become barons; owning hotels, houses in choice areas of Abia, Rivers and Imo states, with exotic cars in their homes,” the NDLEA said.
The NDLEA further disclosed that it has been on the trail of the two brothers since 2013, when they organised a mob attack on some of the agency’s operatives who attempted to apprehend them during a raid.
“At least one of the officers attacked then is still bedridden to date. The two drug lords equally own armed militia guarding their houses and drug stores, where they deal in various illicit substances like Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine (Mpuru-miri), Loud/Arizona and all sorts.
“Fresh bid to bring the duo to book and end their criminal trade was launched four months ago, leading to a simultaneous raid operation on their locations on Saturday, 26th November 2022,” the agency added.
During the operation, one of their militiamen, Eberechi Kingsley Monday, was also arrested.
Some of the items recovered during the raid are quantities of cocaine and variants of cannabis from the two houses.
The NDLEA said it has so far sealed two hotels, one eatery, and two mansions linked to the suspects and recovered three exotic vehicles from their homes, adding that efforts are ongoing to trace more of their bank accounts and properties.
The identified hotels include Jahlove Hotel, Mbawsi, Isiala Ngwa North LGA; Noicyhl Luxury Hotel, Aba -Port-Harcourt expressway, Aba, and Royal Cruise Fast Food, Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway, Isiala Ngwa North LGA, all in Abia State.