NDLEA Seizes N194bn Cocaine in Historic Bust
* Arrests 4 drug barons
Michael Olugbode in Abuja
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in Ikorodu area of Lagos State where 1.8 tonnes (1,855 kilogrammes) of cocaine with a street value of $278,250,000 or N194,775,000,000 were seized.
A statement on Monday by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi, revealed that the seized drug is perhaps the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the history of the country.
According to the statement, at least four drug barons, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager, have been arrested in the well-coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State.
Babafemi said kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include: Messrs Soji Jibril, 69; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65; Wasiu Akinade, 53; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica.
He said they are all members of an international drug syndicate the agency has been trailing since 2018.
He revealed that the warehouse located at 6 Olukuola Crescent, Solebo Estate, Ikorodu, was raided last Sunday, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday.
He said preliminary investigation revealed the class A drugs were warehoused in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), while commending all the officers and men of the agency involved in the extensive investigation including those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration, (US-DEA), said the bust is a historical blow to the drug cartels and a strong warning that they will all go down if they fail to realise that the game has changed.