The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested an Ethiopian-based Nigerian drug kingpin, identified as Ejiofor Enwereaku with over N8 billion blocks of cocaine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.
The agency stated that consignments seized by the operatives include 36 blocks of cocaine, which weighed 27.95 kilogrammes with a street value of over N8 billion.
The NDLEA also disclosed that the sum of $24,500 which the suspect offered as bribe to compromise the agency’s operatives and their investigation was seized.
The agency stated that the suspect, leader of a syndicate was arrested at the airport on Friday 14th May 2021 for importing 27.95kg of cocaine using their organised criminal gang, which specialises in tagging/planting drugs in innocent travellers’ luggage.
The agency through a statement issued by the NDLEA Director, Media, and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said the suspect behind the consignment was traced and arrested after followed up operation by the anti-drugs agency operatives.
The statement made available to newsmen on Sunday reads, “Narcotic agents at the MMIA had on Saturday 8th May 2021 intercepted a bag that arrived the Lagos airport from GRU, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Ethiopian airline with baggage tag No- ET331199 but was disclaimed by an arriving passenger on the flight.
“The disclaimed bag was promptly secured by NDLEA operatives for investigation. “On Sunday, 9th May 2021, a man who came to the airport to make an inquiry on how to get the disclaimed bag released, was promptly arrested for investigation.
“The disclaimed bag was opened in the presence of the arriving passenger and the man who came to negotiate the release of the disputed bag.
The anti-drug agency added that the suspect allegedly confessed that he was contracted by his Ethiopian associate to deliver the consignment to Lagos.
“During preliminary interrogation after his arrest, he confessed to have been contracted by his Ethiopian associate who is a notorious drug baron to claim and push out the consignment in Lagos, Nigeria. He further admitted to having paid the $24,500 bribe in three tranches to compromise NDLEA officers. The first was $10,000 delivered through his representative in Lagos and another $10, 000 via his First Bank account while the third tranche of $4,500 was paid at the point of his arrest.
“His group is said to be suspected to be responsible for recruiting traffickers to move illicit drugs to various destinations using Nigeria as their transit location and also planting drugs in the luggage of innocent travellers,” NDLEA said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of the anti-drug agency, Buba Marwa has in his reaction to the operations which he said took weeks of painstaking efforts and closely monitored by him, commended the Commander, MMIA Command of the agency, Ahmadu Garba, his officers and men for their diligence and resilience in following up every lead in the case until the kingpin was successfully entrapped and arrested.
His words: “I have warned that we’ll henceforth, not only go after the traffickers but with the same vigour target the cartels and the kingpins that operate them; the latest arrest is a clear confirmation that we’ll match our words with action and that we’ll come for those who will not back out of the criminal trade, wherever they are hiding pushing instruments of death through our borders to destroy the lives of our youths.”