NDLEA detains 2 wanted drug barons, cocaine traffickers

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested two heads of transitional criminal organisations with multi-billion-dollar illicit drugs and assets.

The Director of media and advocacy, Femi Babafemi, who disclosed this on Sunday, October 15, said the arrest came after weeks of intelligence-led operations across the country and outside Nigeria.

“The arrest of the wanted drug lords came on the heels of the interception of consignments of cocaine and heroin buried in the bellies of two traffickers heading to Paris, France and Doha, Qatar by NDLEA officers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja.”

How the arrest was made

On Tuesday, NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos, took into custody one Hakeem Babatunde Salami, who was said to be the arrowhead of “Tajudeen Babatunde Abioye Transnational Criminal Organization”.

The agency said the criminal organisation had been involved in the illicit trade of several narcotics, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ephedrine in Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Europe.

Salami had left Nigeria for South Africa after the arrest of a member of his syndicate, Suleiman Babatunde Oba, on August 25 while attempting to export 25.10kgs of ephedrine to South Africa.

However, he (Salami) was later arrested with the partnership of South African authorities and other investigative intelligence. NDLEA said his vehicles and houses in Lagos were seized while his cartel members were arrested. 



    Similarly, the head of another cartel, Okafor Ikechukwu Williams (aka Jantu) and his wife, Okafor Ifeyinwa Grace, were also taken into custody on Thursday, October 5, during a raid by the agency in Okota, Lagos state.

    Operatives of NDLEA recovered 27.566 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in a blue box and two sacks, ready for export to Europe and Asia, and a Lexus RX350 marked ABJ 512 AY parked in the house.

    Also, at the Abuja Airport, the NDLEA operatives arrested two drug traffickers, Nwofor Ejiogu Charles and Nwufo Charles Okwudili, after a body scan revealed he ingested cocaine. Charles was placed under observation, during which he excreted 75 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.653kgs while OKwudili was taken into the recovery room where he excreted 96 wraps of heroin he ingested with a total weight of 1.413kgs.

    Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on patrol along the Okene -Lokoja-Abuja expressway on Tuesday, 10 October, intercepted a commercial bus from Lagos to Kano transporting $4,880,000 and CFA57,000,000 suspected to be counterfeited.

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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