Nigeria

NDLEA intercepts 1.7 million opioid pills in noodles at Lagos airport

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it intercepted no fewer than 132,090 tablets of tramadol and 2000 bottles of codeine across five states and the FCT, Abuja in the past week.

At least one million seven hundred and sixty thousand four hundred and sixty (1,760,460) pills of Tramadol and other opioids were found concealed in packages of Indomie noodles and other foods at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja, Lagos, as well as in the state of Gombe.

Over 600,000 Tramadol 225mg pills were seized by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the SAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport on Monday 12th and Tuesday, December 13. On Wednesday, December 14, 5,960 Rohypnol pills were seized at the SAHCO export shed of the airport, hidden in 60 packs of Indomie noodles destined for Johannesburg, South Africa.

A female freight agent named Olaleye Adeola was reportedly arrested on Sunday in connection with the noodle shipment, according to a statement released by NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi.

In a similar event, on Tuesday, December 13, Zone 2 Police Headquarters in Lagos collaborated with authorities in Balogun market on Lagos Island to apprehend a trader named Akunne Chibuzor Tochukwu for trying to ship a shipment of Tramadol to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Market worker Oke Abosede Ronke, whose services were sought to transport the narcotic for export, was detained before NDLEA agents seized the shipment at the Lagos airport on November 25.

On the same day, three suspects, Taofeek Yusuf, Ifeanyi Okorie, and Israel Nwachukwu, were detained after NDLEA agents in Lagos stopped a truck and a bus carrying 113 giant bags of cannabis sativa weighing 4,802.84 kilos in the VGC estate area of Ajah.

On Thursday, December 15, a team of NDLEA officers at the Bye pass region of Gombe seized 1,154,500 pills of Tramadol, Rohypnol, and Exol being trafficked from Onitsha, Anambra state, to Gombe by a truck driver Umar Hassan, 28.

On Friday, December 16, operatives in Edo state stopped a Honda Ridgeline pick-up with the registration number BWR 699 CV carrying 29 bags of Cannabis Sativa totalling 319 kilogrammes based on information they had received. Driver Alfred Vratombo, 32, was caught wearing a fake police outfit to fool guards on the road.

Similarly, operatives arrested Rabilu Sa’ad Abubakar, 42, in a follow-up operation in Kano after seizing his consignment of 1,980 bottles of Cough syrup with codeine, concealed inside packs of blenders, which had been smuggled in by another suspect, Chucks Kalu, 29.

Delta state NDLEA officers stormed the home of a drug kingpin, Okrika Kingsley Ozioma, at Usiefurum town, Ughelli South LGA. They uncovered an underground drug bunk in a three-bedroom bungalow building owned by the suspect, who is now on the run. Muhammed Ahmed, 40, was arrested in the Darazo area of Bauchi State on Saturday, December 17, with 288 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 244.5Kg. Drugs weighing 17.6 kilogrammes (or about 37 pounds) and a silver 2003 Golf bearing the Lagos licence plate number KJA 572 AZ were found in the bunk.

On December 17, police in Oyo state detained a 40-year-old man named Yusuf Ayinde at his home in Idi-Ose through Amuloko, Ona-Ara LGA. The suspect was found in possession of 50.40 kg of cannabis.

The Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa praised the officers and men of the MMIA, Lagos, Gombe, Edo, Delta, Kaduna, and Oyo state commands for their dedication and vigilance leading to the arrests and seizures of the past week. He urged them and their fellow compatriots across other formations to continue surpassing their achievement records.

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