NDLEA intercepts ‘largest’ consignment of heroin at Lagos Airport

THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it had intercepted the single largest consignment of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos State.

The agency also said it arrested some members of the cartel who own the drugs.

According to the agency, the group specialises in trafficking heroin across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe and America.

The arrests were successfully carried out after a sting operation that lasted for 12 days.


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The NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa, stated these in Lagos State on Tuesday, February 27, while briefing journalists.

He said, “The consignment was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines. Each carton was stocked with three blocks of high-grade heroin. In total, we recovered 45 blocks of the illicit substance with a total weight of 49.70kg.

“After the discovery, we were methodical and meticulous in our investigations. We started with the arrest of the freight agent named Olowolagba Wasiu Babatunde. It turned out that he was hired for clearing services by Mattpee Logistics, a company operated by one Mr. Kola, a resident of South Africa.

“Next, we conducted a follow-up operation at the company’s warehouse in the Shogunle area of Oshodi, Lagos, and arrested the warehouse manager, Ajayi Imole Moses,” Marwa stated.

He explained further that an ambush was carried out for the expected receiver of the consignment, who was arrested when he showed up for collection.

According to the chairman, the receiver, named Adinnu Felix Chinedu, confessed during interrogation that he was the leading distributor for a drug syndicate whose membership is spread across Nigeria.




     

     

    “He admitted that he usually conveyed the consignment to a dedicated warehouse located in Ayobo. That place served as a workshop where he would dismantle the consignment and remove the drugs from the machines. Thereafter, he would wait for a list of various recipients to be forwarded to him from South Africa by the head of the criminal group,” Marwa added.

    He said the NDLEA operatives did due diligence by conducting a thorough search of the warehouse, which led to the recovery of 56 similar cartons of the cutting machines that were used previously to conceal and move heroin into Nigeria.

    “In the end, we were able to identify the kingpin of the syndicate here in Nigeria and his name is Reginald Peter Chidiebere. Our investigations showed that he owns the Golden Platinum Hotel and Suite, located at 16 Reginald Peter Chidiebere Street, Hope Estate, Ago Palace.”

    The NDLEA boss said several days of surveillance on the hotel culminated in a raid operation on Monday, February 19, in which another drug lord, Igboanugo Chukwuebuka Thankgod, was found in possession of two parcels of 2.2kg heroin with codes similar to the ones found on the seized drug shipment, bringing the total seizure to 51.90 kilogrammes.

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