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NDLEA arrests Osun monarch, corps member for drug trafficking

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested Ige Babatunde, the Ba’ale of Akarabata in Ile-Ife, for alleged drug trafficking.

In a statement on Sunday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said 50-year-old Babatunde was apprehended on Friday with 5kg of “fresh cannabis plants”.

The agency also said Yusuf Abdulrahman, a 25-year-old youth corps member, was arrested at Corpers Lodge in the Sumaila area of Kano, with 1.250kg of Loud.

He added that the NDLEA also raided the Lagos base of a “high-profile cocaine syndicate” headed by Agbakoba John Mmadu and his wife.

He said large consignments of cocaine meant for export and local distribution were recovered during the raid.

“Seven parcels of cocaine with a total weight of 7.652 kilograms were recovered from Mmadu at Ago Palace Way,” the statement reads.

“One hundred and twenty-two (122) compressed pellets of the same drug weighing 2.42kg were seized from Ijeoma and Ifeoma at Lilly Estate, bringing the total seizure to 10.1 kilograms valued at over N2.1 billion in street value.”

Babafemi added that NDLEA operatives in Benue intercepted a consignment of 350 grams of cocaine at a checkpoint along Enugu Road on Thursday.

“The illicit drug was concealed in an MP3 speaker sent as a waybill parcel. A swift follow-up operation at Flight motor park in Otukpo led to the arrest of the owner, 25-year-old Odeh Anthony,” the statement added.

“Meanwhile, NDLEA officers on a stop-and-search operation along Ngurore-Yola road in Adamawa state on Wednesday, July 3, arrested a Chadian, Yves Ahmat Gali, in a commercial bus coming from Kano to Yola.

“The suspect was found with a loudspeaker used to conceal 20 compressed blocks and nine plastic containers of Loud, a strong strain of cannabis weighing 5.200kg.

“In Kano, operatives on Wednesday, July 3, arrested a youth corps member, Yusuf Abdulrahman, 25, at Corpers Lodge, Sumaila area of the city, with 1.250kg of Loud, while in Osun state, the head of Akarabata community in Ile-Ife, Ba’ale Ige Babatunde, 50, was on Friday, July 5, arrested with fresh cannabis plants that weighed 5kg.

“Two suspects, Monday Ali, 49, and Jimoh Alewi, 37, were arrested when NDLEA operatives raided Ikota forest in Ifedore LGA, Ondo state, where a total of 42,500kg of cannabis was destroyed on 17 hectares of farmland while 73.5kg of the same substance was recovered for the prosecution of the suspects during a five-day operation that ended on Monday, July 1.

“In Abuja, the FCT, NDLEA operatives on Saturday, July 6, arrested the duo of Sanusi Mamman, 28, and Usaini Ibrahim, 20, in a vehicle along Abaji-Gwagwalada with 1,132 bottles of codeine syrup; 13,540 pills of tramadol; 50,000 pills of diazepam; and 59 pills of rophynol. The suspects claimed they were bringing the opioids from Onitsha, Anambra state.

“With the same drive, commands and formations of the agency across the country continued their War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) sensitization activities in schools, worship centres, workplaces, and communities among others in the past week.

“These include WADA enlightenment lecture for students of Community Grammar School (Junior), Aroro, Ibadan, Oyo state; students of Candy Secondary School, Agu Awka, Anambra state; students of Community High School, Umuida, Enugu Ezike, Enugu state; students of School for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Kofar Nasarawa, Kano state; and WADA sensitisation lecture organized by Zone M Zonal Command of NDLEA at Sabo motor park, Kaduna, among others.”

The statement said Buba Marwa, NDLEA chairman, commended the officers and men of the special operations unit in Osun, Benue, Ondo, Kano, and FCT commands for the arrests and seizures, while charging them to “maintain the tempo”.

Crime

NDLEA intercepts over 1m bottles of codeine from India

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have again intercepted another batch of seven containers bearing 1,229,400 bottles of the codeine worth over N9,835,200,000 shipped from India at Onne ports in Rivers State.

This development came barely three weeks after seizing 6,125 cartons of codeine syrup containing 1,050,000 bottles of the opioid worth over N7, 350,000,000 in street value, at the Port Harcourt Ports complex, Onne.

According to a statement signed by the NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Friday, the latest seizure was made on Thursday.

He said, “This seizure is the fourth and last set of such consignments that have been under the watchlist of the Agency’s Maritime Special Operations Unit Targeting Team, which worked in partnership with the Port Harcourt Ports Command of the Agency and other security agencies including the Customs Service for a 100 per cent joint examination of the targeted containers.

“This followed credible intelligence and months of diligent tracking of the consignments from their port of departure. At the joint examination of the containers with other security agencies on Thursday, all seven containers were found bearing a total of 8,774 cartons of codeine-based cough syrup with 1,229,400 bottles weighing 184,410 kilogrammes.

“A breakdown of the shipments that came from India via the Maersk Vigo Vessel shows that the container marked SEKU 6439421 has 875 cartons with 175,000 bottles of codeine weighing 26,250kg.”

The statement added that four other containers contained 175,000 bottles of the same substance each in addition to other items such as chilli cutters, cartons of hyregra tablets and diclofenac used to mask the shipments.

In his response to the latest seizure, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (retd.) praised the support received from other stakeholders at the ports that enabled the seamless and successful operations in the course of targeting the shipments.

“The operation, which had inflicted heavy losses on the cartels behind the shipments has further degraded their capacity and financial base,” he said.

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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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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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