By Emma Njoku
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, where 1.8tons (1,855 kilograms) of the illicit drug worth more than $278, 250,000, equivalent of about N194, 775,000,000 in street value were seized.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi, in a statement, yesterday, said at least four drug barons, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager have been arrested in the well coordinated and intelligence led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State.
The statement further revealed that the kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include: Messrs Soji Jibril, 69, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo State; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, who hails from Ekwulobia, Anambra State; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo State; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo State and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica.
Babafemi said the suspects were all members of an international drug syndicate who the agency had been trailing since 2018.
“Located at 6 Olukuola crescent, Solebo estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raided on Sunday, September 18, 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos, between Sunday night and Monday, September 19.
“Preliminary investigation reveals the class A drugs were warehoused in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums,” Babafemi stated.
While commending all the officers and men of the anti narcotic agency involved in the extensive investigation, including those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA), Chairman/Chief Executive, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), described the bust as a historical blow to the drug cartels, with a strong warning that they will all go down.