Crime

NDLEA Busts Cocaine Syndicate, Arrests Couple, Recovers ₦2.1bn Drug in Lagos

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have raided the Lagos base of a cocaine syndicate headed by a couple identified as Agbakoba John Mmadu, and Agbakoba Ijeoma Chinwe.

A large consignments of class A drug meant for export and local distribution were recovered from the syndicate which include an associate, Okoye Ifeoma Maryjane.

According to the Director, Media & Advocacy of NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi in a statement issued on Sunday, the raid carried out by a special operations unit of the Agency followed months of intelligence gathering and surveillance on the syndicate notorious for packaging, distributing and trafficking of cocaine within and outside Nigeria.

“The 54-year-old Agbakoba John Mmadu was arrested at Ago palace way, Okota while his wife, Agbakoba Ijeoma Chinwe, 39, and associate, Okoye Ifeoma Maryjane, 31, who doubles as their stash keeper, were nabbed at Plot 2205 Eugene Ndubisi close, Lilly Estate, Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos, all on Wednesday 3rd July 2024.

“While seven parcels of cocaine with a total weight of 7.652 kilograms were recovered from Mmadu at Ago palace way, not less than one hundred and twenty-two (122) compressed pellets of the same drug weighing 2.42kg were seized from the duo of Ijeoma and Ifeoma at Lilly Estate, bringing the total seizure to 10.1 kilograms valued at over N2.1 billion in street value,” the statement reads in part.

In a related development, NDLEA operatives in Benue State on Thursday, July 4 intercepted a consignment of 350 grams of cocaine at a check point along Enugu road, Otukpo.

The anti-narcotic agency disclosed that the illicit drug was concealed in an MP3 speaker sent as a waybill parcel, noting that a swift follow up operation at Flight motor park in Otukpo led to the arrest of the owner, Odeh Anthony, 25.

Similarly, NDLEA officers on a stop and search operation along Ngurore – Yola road in Adamawa State on Wednesday, July 3 nabbed a Chadian, Yves Ahmat Gali in a commercial bus coming from Kano to Yola.

Babafemi stated that the suspect was found with a loud speaker used to conceal 20 compressed blocks, nine (9) plastic containers of Loud and a strong strain of cannabis weighing 5.200kg.

Elsewhere (Kano State), operatives on Wednesday, July 3 apprehended a youth corps member, Yusuf Abdulrahman, 25, at Corpers Lodge, Sumaila area of the city, with 1.250kg of Loud.

In Osun State, the head of Akarabata community in Ile-Ife, Ba’ale Ige Babatunde, 50, was equally arrested on Friday, July 5 with fresh cannabis plants weighing 5kg.

In the same vein, two (2) 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 cannabis were destroyed on 17 hectares of farmland.

73.5kg of 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 6th July 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,” the statement added.

The Commands and formations of the Agency across the country continued their War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) sensitization activities in schools, worship centres, work places and communities among others in the past week.

The sensitization activities 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.

Others are 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 to mention a few.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa commended the officers and men of the Special Operations Unit of Osun, Benue, Ondo, Kano, and FCT Commands for the arrests and seizures.

Gen. Marwa noted the significance of the Agency’s drug supply reduction efforts in line with the WADA sensitization activities.

He further charged the officers of the Agency across the country to maintain the tempo in discharging their duties.

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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