Michael Olugbade in Abuja
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted fresh attempts by drug cartels to smuggle drugs through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos to Italy and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The NDLEA also busted drug operations in Abia, Kaduna, Yobe and Kogi States where 203,879 tablets of various pharmaceutical opioids and illicit substances were seized in raids across the states.
A statement yesterday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi read: “Fresh bids by drug cartels to export tramadol, Ecstasy MDMA and cannabis to Milan, Italy and Dubai, United Arab Emirates through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos have been foiled by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, who also seized 203,879 tablets of various pharmaceutical opioids and illicit substances in raids across Abia, Kaduna, Yobe and Kogi state.”
He disclosed that at the Lagos airport, a female passenger, Odia Efe, was arrested last Monday while trying to board Royal Air Moroc flight from Lagos via Casablanca to Milan, Italy with 1,000 tablets of tramadol 200mg concealed in food items, while five days after, a freight agent Kareem Ibrahim was arrested at the SAHCO cargo shed of the airport for attempting to export food items in which were hidden blocks of cannabis weighing 6.65 kilogrammes and 24 grammes of ecstasy drug, MDMA to Dubai in UAE.
He said in Abia State, three trucks loaded with drugs coming from Lagos and Onitsha, Anambra were intercepted in Aba, and when properly searched in the presence of the owners last Wednesday 67,100 tablets/capsules of tramadol and 12,650 ampules of pentazocine, morphine and dopamine were recovered.
He equally said that on the same day, NDLEA operatives in Kaduna arrested a notorious drug dealer, Shehu Kabiru a.k.a Dan-Zaira, who had been wanted by the Kastina Command of the agency for jumping bail, disclosing that recovered from him include: 45,000 tablets of Diazepam weighing 41.5 kilogrammes; 50,000 tablets of Exol, weighing 15.6 kilogrammes; 1,500 tablets of Rohypnol weighing 700 grammes and 300 bottles of codeine weighing 41.5 kilogrammes.
Babafemi said in Yobe State, no fewer than 7,029 tablets of tramadol, D5, and Exol as well as 1.5 kilogrammes cannabis were recovered from a drug dealer, Ibrahim Yakubu when his hideout was raided in Unguru town on Sunday 8th May, while in Rivers state, one Chekiri Richard Obomanu was arrested at Eleme area last Wednesday with 207.2 kilogrammes cannabis.
He added that not less than 19,600 tablets of tramadol coming from Onitsha, Anambra state to Abuja were intercepted and recovered along Okene/Abuja highway last Wednesday by NDLEA operatives in Kogi state.
In another development, five members of a syndicate, which conducts fake recruitment into security agencies, have been arrested in coordinated operations in Zamfara, Kebbi and Bauchi States. He said leader of the gang, Yakubu Sani was first arrested in Gusau, Zamfara state, alleging that his criminal gang issues fake NDLEA employment letters and identity cards to unsuspecting members of the public for the sum of N400,000 per person.
Babafemi said a follow up operation in Zuru, Kebbi State led to the arrest of another gang member, Ibrahim Isah, while three others; Dahiru Limanchi, Gambo Danladi and Umar Abubakar were nabbed in Bauchi state.
He said recovered from them include: a fake NDLEA ID card; NDLEA guarantor form; INEC offer of appointment letter; Nigerian Customs Special Replacement Form and appointment letter; Nigerian Correctional Service Replacement Form; Credentials of some Applicants; Receipts and passport photos; Five sim packs and one MTN SIM card.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) has commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Abia, Kaduna, Yobe, Rivers and Kogi for the arrests and seizures, while equally acknowledged the well-conducted operations in Zamfara, Kebbi and Bauchi that nailed five members of a criminal gang scamming innocent job seekers with fake employment letters.