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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.

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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