Operatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have seized over 14.4million pills of tramadol and bottles of codeine syrup worth over N13 billion in street value, in three major raids of drug cartels operating in Amuwo Odofin, Idumota and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The three intelligence-led operations began with the raid of House 8/10 Hon. Wahuha Avenue, Divine Estate, Ago Palace area of Amuwo Odofin on Sunday, October 29, where 490,000 pills of tramadol and 81,519 bottles of codeine syrup measuring 4, 510, 000mls were recovered.
In a similar operation on Tuesday, October 31, NDLEA operatives swooped on a secret warehouse operated by a billionaire Idumota trader, Nwaoha Anayo, located at Onitire, Aguda area of Surulere, where 12.7million pills of tramadol were recovered.
Confirming the developments, spokesperson for the agency, Femi Babafemi, said at least six members of a syndicate using their official cover to facilitate the smuggling of illicit drugs through SAHCO warehouse at the Lagos airport into the country have also been arrested, and 1.7 3 million pills of tramadol seized from them, in a painstaking operation that lasted for weeks.
The six suspects, who are already in NDLEA custody, he said include: Oladele Sanya-Olu; Lawal Itunu Temitope; Sanamo Alla Daniel; Udeh Felix Monday; Musa Mutalib and Unege Evans Icibor, while three other suspects- Sarki Mubarak Salami; Abdullahi Aliyu (aka Aboki) and Monday Anwal, are now on the run and wanted by NDLEA.
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, NDLEA operatives, last Sunday, intercepted 50-year-old businessman, Nwokolo Ifeanyi Anthony, during the outward clearance of Air France flight AF 878 to Amsterdam, Netherlands via Paris, France at the boarding gate and was body scanned.
The result turned out to be positive for illicit drug ingestion.According to Babafemi, the suspect, who travelled from Lagos to board the flight, was subsequently kept under observation for some days during which he excreted a total of 86 pellets of heroin weighing 1.330 kilogrammes.
Similarly, NDLEA operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI), attached to courier firms, last Monday, intercepted 22 parcels of cocaine concealed in the walls of a carton containing sewn local fabrics popularly called Aso Oke, heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives have arrested three blind men operating an illicit drug ring between Lagos and Kano, while another blind member of the syndicate is still at large.
The lid was blown off the group following the arrest of a blind suspect, Adamu Hassan, 40, along Gwagwalada expressway Abuja with 12kgs of skunk on his way from Lagos to Kano on Saturday, October 28.
Investigations, however, established that he was totally oblivious of the content of the bag handed to him to deliver in Kano. Follow up operations then led to the arrest of the arrowhead of the syndicate, Bello Abubakar, 45, who is also blind. In his statement, Bello, who is married with five children, said he has been living in Lagos for 30 years, but started the illicit drug business five years ago.
Another suspect, Muktar Abubakar, 59, who is equally blind has been living in Lagos for 40 years and married to three wives with 14 children. Both Muktar Abubakar and Bello Abubakar are joint owners of the business, while the third suspect, Akilu Amadu, 25, also blind equally contributes money to the criminal trade and was indeed the one who delivered the consignment to Adamu at the motor park in Lagos to deliver in Kano. Another blind suspect, who is the expected receiver of the consignment in Kano, Mallam Aminu, is currently at large.
While operatives in Osun on Saturday, November 4, stormed the Obada sawmill forest in Owena-Ijesa, Oriade Local Council where they arrested a suspect, Monday Sylvester, 37, on a 6.01 hectares of cannabis farm, which was destroyed and 489.8kgs already processed plant recovered. Their colleagues in Edo raided a trans-loading point inside Avbiosi forest, Owan West Local, where 603 kilogrammes of the illicit substance were seized.
Also, NDLEA officers in Ogun State on Friday, November 3, recovered a Toyota Sienna bus from a ditch, at Ajebo Area, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
A search of the vehicle led to the seizure of 460kgs of the same substance, while a total of 116.5kgs of Cannabis sativa, belonging to a suspect at large, were seized at Olagunju, Mushin area of Lagos.