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NDLEA seizes over 6,668 tonnes of illicit substances in 2 years

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The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), says the agency has seized more than 6,668 tonnes of illicit substances in two years.

Marwa said this while responding to a request for partnership and deployment of more NDLEA personnel to all parts of Katsina by Gov. Dikko Radda.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, on Friday in Abuja.

Marwa also said that more than 36,096 suspects had been arrested and more than 6,043 had already been prosecuted and convicted within the same period.

He noted that the drug menace was a huge issue that had destroyed the lives of several Nigerian youths and communities.

According to him, it is the public enemy number one, and especially the criminal aspect of it, because 99 percent of criminals must first have access to drugs and be under the influence to perpetrate some of their acts.

“That is why the NDLEA, under the collective support of the directorates and management, has put all efforts towards operation ‘offensive action’.

“This operation involves going out to seize all drugs cultivated, imported, or on the verge of being exported out of the country.

More than 6,668 tonnes of illicit substances have been seized in two years, and this is the drug supply reduction aspect.

“We have also arrested the perpetrators of the act, and more than 36,096 suspects have been arrested and more than 6,043 have already been prosecuted and convicted within this period.”

Marwa emphasised that another side of the fight was drug demand reduction, which focused on prevention, treatment, and aftercare of drug-dependent persons.

“The preventive measure targets those who have not started or are about to start drug use.

“They are targeted through advocacy and sensitisation across all levels.

“It is for this reason we structured the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) initiative from the national to Local Government Area (LGA) levels,” he said.

He assured that the agency would continue relentlessly until the streets were cleared of drugs.

Speaking earlier, Radda said that the synergy was important and needed in the state.

According to him, the Katsina State Government recognises that the NDLEA has been making lots of efforts to support, the government.

“But we still need more support from the chairman to stop the movement of drugs and ensure the arrest and prosecution of dealers in the state.”

The governor appealed for better partnership and synergy to reduce the abuse of drugs, the activities of banditry and trafficking in the state.

“We appeal to the NDLEA for support, and on behalf of the Katsina state government, we appreciate the NDLEA for the work you are doing.

“We hope this visit enhances a better working relationship between the NDLEA and the state,” he said.

Crime

Navy arrests 8 stowaways, rescues 8 victims of human trafficking, 2 drowning fishermen

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Authorities of the Nigerian Navy said on Tuesday that its patrol team of NNS Beecroft on July 13, 2024 arrested 8 suspected stowaways in 2 speedboats attempting to board MV Northernlight while underway along Lagos Channel.

Commodorw Aiwuyor Adams-Aliu, Director of Naval Information said, “The incident occurred when the patrol team sighted the suspects attempting to board the vessel through its rudder compartment.

“Upon interrogation, 5 suspects admitted that they attempted to board the vessel to enable them travel abroad.

“The suspects and speed boats have been handed over to Nigerian Immigration Service, Lagos State Port and Marine Command for further investigation.

“Notably, NNS Beecroft has so far arrested 33 stowaways between January and July 2024.

Continuing he said, “In the past week, from 9-13 July 2024, Nigerian Navy units across the Nation’s maritime domain, also rescued 8 female victims of human trafficking and 2 drowning fishermen.

“Additionally, a sea robbery attempt was foiled within the same period.

“Specifically, on 9 July 2024, the Quick Response Team of the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base Badagry intercepted a wooden passenger boat with 8 females aged between 18-23 years en-route the Benin Republic.

“Upon interrogation it became obvious that they were being trafficked by a yet to be identified agent.

“The victims were later handed over to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) while further investigation to identify the agent and trafficking syndicate is ongoing.

“In another development, on 10 July 2024, Nigerian Navy personnel of Forward Operating Base IBAKA, Akwa Ibom State intercepted suspected sea robbers attempting to rob a supply vessel along Uyenghe River in Mbo Local Government.

“The robbers opened fire on own troops, prompting them to respond with heavy gunfire.

“The robbers later retreated into the creeks and the robbery attempt was effectively foiled.

“Also, on 12 July 2024 Nigerian Navy personnel from Forward Operating Base LEKKI rescued 2 drowning fishermen around Lekki Anchorage Area, about 10 nautical miles from Dangote Refinery at Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State.

“Findings revealed that the fishermen were fishing within the area when their boat capsized due to the rough sea state.”

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Crime

NDLEA intercepts US-bound cocaine, opioids concealed in shoe soles

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted various quantities of cocaine and opioids concealed in shoe soles intended to be shipped out of the country.

Femi Babafemi, NDLEA director, media and advocacy, said the opioids seized in Lagos included tramadol, pentazocine injection, morphine sulphate, and ketamine injection, among others.

“While no less than 250 grams of cocaine going to Cyprus was hidden in soles of custom-made shoes, over five kilograms of opioids heading to the US and UK were discovered by NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, DOGI, in clothes and other household items meant to be shipped through some courier firms in Lagos,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

The NDLEA official said authorities intercepted a consignment of 440 grams of loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis from Canada, in one of the logistic companies.

He said on July 8, operatives also raided a warehouse in Lekki’s VGC, Lagos, and recovered 148 cartons of non-medical nitrous oxide popularly termed laughing gas, 108 cartons of fast gas cylinders, 134 pieces of balloon, and 109 cartons of infusion charger, among others.

Suliyat Abdulsalam a female suspect, was arrested in connection with the seizure.

INTERCEPTIONS IN EDO, OGUN, BORNO, KATSINA

Speaking on other seizures, Babafemi said NDLEA operatives in Edo state intercepted a vehicle at Ewu junction, Esan Central LGA following credible intelligence.

“The luggage of one of the occupants, Aminu Abdullahi, 32, was searched and found to contain custard containers, where 3,000 pills of tramadol 225mg were buried in the custard powder,” the statement said.

“In his statement, the suspect claimed the drugs were bought in Onitsha, Anambra state and he was taking them to Mararaba area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to sell.”

Babafemi said the arrest was made on July 10.

The following day, operatives raided the Ohen forest in Edo and destroyed 5,429.751kg of cannabis on 2.918 hectares of farmlands, the statement said.

Four suspects — Godday Ariye, 37; Friday Okafor, 59; Obinna Nwosu, 48; and Yusuf Adamu, 27 — were arrested.

In Ogun state, NDLEA officials recovered a total of 2,865 kilograms of cannabis at Afami Ibese on July 9. Umar Ibese, the suspected owner, is said to be currently at large.

In a joint operation with the army on July 9, Babafemi said at least 2,455 kilograms of materials for the production of Akuskura, a new psychoactive substance (NPS), were recovered from a warehouse in Konduga town, Konduga LGA, Borno.

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Crime

NDLEA arrests wanted drug kingpin in Imo

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Umuomi, Uzogba-Ezenomi community in Ikeduru LGA of Imo state.

In a statement on Tuesday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said the operatives also recovered different quantities of methamphetamine, a psychoactive substance, and weapons during the raid.

Babafemi said the drug cartel is known to produce and distribute methamphetamine, popularly known as “mkpuru mmiri” in the south-east.

The NDLEA spokesperson noted that the leader of the cartel, 42-year-old Joachin Mbonu, was tracked down to his residence in the company of Kenneth Ofoegbu, his associate, on Friday after weeks of surveillance.

“The cartel with operational bases in Imo and Rivers states became a target of the agency following intelligence indicating it is responsible for the distribution of a substantial quantity of methamphetamine in the south-east, south-south, and other parts of the country,” the statement reads.

“After weeks of surveillance, officers of a special operations unit of the agency on Friday 5th July 2024, tracked and traced the drug lord to his village mansion in Imo state where he was caught with a member of his cartel, Kenneth Chibuike Ofoegbu, 34, with different quantities of methamphetamine, its precursor chemicals, a pump action gun, and cartridges recovered.

“Exhibits recovered from the house include — 419.99 grams of methamphetamine; 750 grams of iodine, a precursor chemical for meth; 500 grams of sodium bicarbonate, a precursor chemical for meth; two electronic weighing scales; and a pump action gun with four cartridges.

“The operatives moved swiftly to another of Mbonu’s hideouts located at 11 Redemption Avenue, Port Harcourt, Rivers state where they recovered additional exhibits — 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate; 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate, and 75 grams of meth.

“Another raid in the home of one of Mbonu’s associates, Odoemenam Pedro Chinedu, currently at large, at Njaba LGA, Imo state, led to the recovery of another pump action gun with 25 cartridges, among other items.

“While the kingpin cools his heels in custody, two of his mansions in Imo state have been marked for possible forfeiture to the federal government.”

Babafemi said Buba Marwa, chairman of the NDLEA, commended the officers and men involved in the multi-pronged operation.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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