NDLEA arrests members of airport drug syndicate, recover N19.8 million cash

THE Nigeria Drug Law Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a fleeing drug kingpin heading a syndicate operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos.

A statement released by NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi said the kingpin, Yunana Fidelis, was arrested alongside members of his gang.

According to the NDLEA, the drug syndicate was behind the smuggling of 1, 584,000 tablets of Tramadol seized on March 15 by the agency’s operatives in collaboration with Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Customs Service personnel at the airport.

“The seizure includes 17 cartons of 250mg Tramadol branded as “Tamra”, weighing 669.70kg and five cartons of 225mg Tramadol under the brand name “Royal” with a gross weight of 217.15kg.

“Two suspects: Ofijeh John Mowa, a SAHCO driver and Nyam Gazu Alex, who is a security guard with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), were initially arrested in connection with the seizure.

“Further investigations by NDLEA operatives led to the arrest of five other persons involved in the crime, including the ringleader Yunana Fidelis who fled Lagos to Kaduna the moment their lid was blown open,” the statement said.

The arrested gang members include Adesanwo Temitope, Owoseni Taiwo Temidayo, Fasoranti Shola and Bamigbade Jonathan.

    Fidelis Yunana and co-accused.

    NDLEA said Yunana Fidelis, a staff of NAHCO, escaped and fled to Kaduna after depositing N19.8 million cash with a BDC operator to be paid later into his bank account.

    Operatives eventually arrested him on March 27 while he was trying to collect N1 million cash from an undercover agent who posed as a BDC operator.

    Meanwhile, a professional methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri) cook, Reuben Bekweri, 34, was arrested on March 26 in Owerri while trying to distribute a kilogram of the illicit drug he cooked and packaged in seven nylon sachets in the Irete area of the Imo State capital.

    Also, in Ado Ekiti, narcotic officers, on March 28, arrested a 42-year-old lawyer, Mayowa Oluwanisomo, in Zone 4, Embassy Island, Moferere area of the Ekiti State capital, following credible intelligence that he deals in psychotropic substances.

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