NDLEA intercepts N2.1Bn worth of codeine, loud at Lagos, Port Harcourt ports

…nabs 70-year-old grandpa, Nigerien, three others in Nationwide raids…

By Innocent Raphael

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted large consignments of codeine-based syrup and Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis, with a combined street value of over N2.185 billion.

NDLEA disclosed the development in a statement issued on Sunday, revealing the interceptions occurred at the Port Harcourt seaports, Onne, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja.

At the Lagos airport on Friday, May 31, 2024, NDLEA officers, in collaboration with other security agencies, intercepted a large consignment of Loud. The strong psychoactive substance was packed in eight suitcases containing 320 parcels, weighing a total of 164.50kg, arriving from Canada on a KLM flight via Amsterdam.

The consignment, valued at approximately N960 million, was smuggled by Ughenu Nnaife Francis, a passenger attempting to transport the suitcases out of the E-arrival hall. The suspect, a resident of Germany, confessed during an interview that he was recruited as a mule to convey the drugs to Nigeria for a fee of N6 million.

Meanwhile, at the Port Harcourt Ports Complex on Monday, May 27, NDLEA operatives discovered a container marked TEMU 6807401, imported from India en route to C to C bonded terminal in Enugu.

The joint examination by NDLEA, Customs, and other security agencies revealed 1,750 cartons of codeine, weighing 26,250kg and containing 175,000 bottles of the opioid, with a street value of N1.225 billion.

Further operations across the country led to multiple arrests and drug seizures:

In Abuja, NDLEA operatives arrested Blessing Thomas, 25, with 1.0kg of methamphetamine on the Kwali-Gwagwalada expressway on May 31. She was traveling in a commercial bus from Lagos to Yola, Adamawa State.

In Nasarawa, on May 29, a 70-year-old grandfather, Muhammadu Ibrahim, was arrested with 57.2kg of cannabis in Lafia, the state capital.

In Ekiti State, two suspects, Suleiman Kazeem, 35, and Sunday Gbenga, 20, were arrested in Ara forest, Ara-Ekiti, where NDLEA officers recovered 426kg of processed cannabis sativa and destroyed over 4,000kg of the substance on a 1.66-hectare farmland on May 30.

In Katsina State, NDLEA officers seized 76 blocks of cannabis weighing 42kg from Suleman Audu, 29, a Nigerien, along the Zaria-Malumfashi road on May 29.

Throughout the past week, NDLEA Commands and formations have also intensified their War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) sensitization activities, reaching out to schools, worship centers, workplaces, and communities.

Notable engagements included lectures at Community Secondary School in Okpuno, Awka, Anambra State; All Saints Church School in Jericho Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo State; Western Marine College in Ajido, Badagry, Lagos; and Government Girls Secondary School in Buden Gari, Bichi, Kano State.

Reacting to the successes of the string of operations, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers for their vigilance and successful operations.

He emphasized that their efforts have significantly reduced the availability of illicit substances in Nigerian communities and urged them to maintain their collaboration with other agencies and stakeholders.

Back to top button