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NDLEA sets ablaze N194.7bn worth of cocaine seized in Lagos

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THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has set ablaze 1.8 tons (1,855 kilogrammes) of illicit drugs worth more than $278.25 million, equivalent to about N194.7 billion, in street value.

The drugs were seized from a major cocaine warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos on September 19.

This was disclosed in a statement sent to The ICIR  by the Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi.


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The chairman/chief executive of the NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa, said at the occasion that a tougher time awaited drug barons and cartels operating in Nigeria if they failed to back out of their illegal trade and embrace legitimate ventures.

The NDLEA had, in an intelligence-led operation that lasted two days last week, stormed a remote warehouse at 6, Olukunola Street, Solebo estate, Ikorodu, where 1.8 tons of cocaine were recovered and five suspects, including a Jamaican, were arrested. 

Arrested suspects and the seized drugs

Following the historical seizure, which is the largest in the agency’s history, it obtained an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos for public destruction of the consignment.

Marwa, represented by the agency’s Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Sunday Joseph, said at the event in Badagary, Lagos, that the sheer volume of the drug haul spoke volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld.

Marwa said this had made it imperative for Nigerians to continue to support the NDLEA in the renewed war against illicit drugs.

He said out of the 1.8-ton seizure, 1,828 blocks of the cocaine would be crushed and set ablaze, while the remnant would be secured for the purpose of prosecution of the suspects, who were brought to witness the procedure and sign the certificate of destruction.

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According to the NDLEA boss, the agency was proceeding with the prosecution of those arrested in connection with this consignment. 

“On this, the public can rest assured that NDLEA shall pursue the trial to a logical conclusion. Since January 25, 2021 when we commenced our offensive action against drug traffickers, the agency has secured record convictions. Presently, 2,904 drug offenders are serving various jail terms, while other cases are ongoing in court, which we are confident will end in positive results too,” Marwa said.

To the drug underworld, he said, “The bust of the syndicate responsible for the cocaine warehoused in Ikorodu is a message to drug cartels that their investments in the illicit drug trade will go up in flames as you are about to witness, while they also risk losing their freedom because the present NDLEA is committed to arresting, prosecuting and ensuring the conviction of those involved in illicit drugs.”

He went further to say that the anti-narcotic agency would now go after assets acquired with the proceeds of the criminal trade.

Marwa said the fact that the Ikorodu operation was conducted clinically without any skirmish or bloodshed is a further testimony to the evolution of the NDLEA and its new capabilities, and a pointer to the fact that the game has changed in the war against illicit drugs.

He appreciated the agency’s international partners, especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA), which supported the cocaine syndicate bust, and the Nigerian military that provided additional firepower during the operation.

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