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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

NDLEA arrests three wanted drug kingpins, to forfeit hotels, others

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Over two months after they were declared wanted, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has arrested three members of a gang based in Lagos and Anambra State allegedly specialized in illicit drug trafficking across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe and America.

Those arrested in Lagos were Onyinyechi Igbokwuputa and Osita Obinna, while Frankline Uzochukwu was apprehended in Awka, the Anambra state capital.

Arrest of the three suspected syndicate was disclosed by the anti-drug trafficking agency spokesperson, Director, Media a Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, through a statement released and made available to newsmen on Sunday.

According to the statement, “They were apprehended following the recent seizure of the single largest consignment of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos.

“A total of 51.90 kilograms of heroin had been recovered from members of the drug cartel in an operation that began 10th February 2024 at the SAHCO Import Shed of the airport’s Cargo Terminal.

“The consignment was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines, with no less than 45 blocks of the illicit substance weighing 49.70kg recovered from the equipment, while additional 2.2kg was seized at the syndicate’s warehouse in Ayobo area of Lagos.

“While the Agency has secured interim forfeiture court order on hotel, mansions, vehicles and funds traced to members of the syndicate after arresting four of them, a manhunt was also launched for others who went underground.

“NDLEA’s effort however paid off on when two of the wanted kingpins: Onyinyechi Irene Igbokwuputa and Frankline Uzochukwu were arrested in Lagos and Awka, Anambra state respectively.

“Another wanted member of the syndicate, Osita Obinna, was equally nabbed in Lagos”, the statement added.

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