Chairman, NDLEA Ahmadu Giade
Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, has raised concern over the health and security implications of illegal methamphetamine production in the country.
This followed the discovery of three production factories in Lagos and Anambra States as well as the arrest of a Colombian drug kingpin who specialises in the establishment of methamphetamine production.
He said: “Our investigation had shown that the Colombian methamphetamine production expert, Gonzelo Osorio, aka Fabian Arcila and Baez Benitez Milan, was invited to establish three clandestine laboratories on a $38,000 weekly contract.
“This is sad and worrisome. It is a clarion call on stakeholders to pay priority attention on this dangerous twist in our nation’s drug trade,” he said.
Narcotic investigators have arrested seven members of the gang, who were helping in further investigation.
The suspects are Gonzelo Osorio, Gabriel Onyebuchi Obi, Anthony Ebi, Olisa Cyprian Onyebuchukwu, Mickey Ezeokoli, Solomon Ogbonna and Chidi Alexandra Efeagwazi.
Twelve vehicles belonging to suspected members of the cartel have been impounded.
In addition, four houses have also been traced to the criminal group by the Agency.
The undercover operation that led to the crackdown on the criminal gang commenced in November 2011, when Osorio was contracted by a Nigerian drug syndicate to establish three methamphetamine production laboratories in different parts of the country.
According to Giade, the operation was one of the best coordinated in terms of duration, expertise and professionalism.
The first clandestine laboratory Osorio established was situated at Majek area of Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, while another one was located in Nanka village in Nnewi area of Anambra State.
The gang was in the process of establishing the third laboratory when they were apprehended by NDLEA officers.
Giade said: “Gonzelo Osorio left the country in December 2011 and returned on 30th of May 2012 with a false identity as a citizen of Paraguay with the name Baez Benitez Milan on his travel documents.
“He is regarded as the best methamphetamine production expert in the country and was hired on $38,000 weekly by the drug cartel.”