NDLEA Arrests Top Drug Cartel Members in Nigeria After Record Heroin Seizure

The NDLEA arrests 3 top drug cartel members in Nigeria, seizing a record 51.90 kg of heroin, underscoring their commitment to combating the illicit drug trade and associated criminal activities.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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NDLEA Arrests Top Drug Cartel Members in Nigeria After Record Heroin Seizure

NDLEA Arrests Top Drug Cartel Members in Nigeria After Record Heroin Seizure

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested three top members of a drug cartel in Lagos and Anambra, Nigeria. The arrests followed a record seizure of 51.90 kg of heroin at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja, Lagos on February 10, 2024. "The heroin was concealed in 15 cartons of 2300-watt metal cutting machines," according to NDLEA sources.

The arrested individuals were identified as Onyinyechi Irene Igbokwuputa, Frankline Uzochukwu, and Osita Emmanuel Obinna. They are believed to be part of an organized criminal organization that specializes in illicit drug trafficking across Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Europe, and America. The NDLEA has secured interim forfeiture court orders on properties linked to the syndicate and launched a manhunt for other members who went into hiding.

Why this matters: The arrests and record heroin seizure constitute a major setback to international drug trafficking operations in Nigeria and beyond. It underscores the NDLEA's commitment to combating the illicit drug trade and its associated criminal activities.

In a separate operation on April 18, 2024, the NDLEA thwarted an attempt by a suspect, Iheakara Ifeanyichukwu Festus, to export 9.80 kg of cannabis to Muscat, Oman through the Lagos airport. The agency also intercepted and seized other drug consignments, including cannabis, codeine, and tramadol, in Adamawa, Bayelsa, Ondo, and Imo states as part of ongoing operations to disrupt drug trafficking activities within the country.

NDLEA Chairman, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers and men for their efforts in drug supply reduction and demand reduction activities. "The NDLEA will continue to intensify its 'War Against Drug Abuse' advocacy lectures in schools and communities," Marwa stated, emphasizing the agency's commitment to preventing drug abuse and trafficking in Nigeria.

Key Takeaways

  • NDLEA arrested 3 top drug cartel members in Lagos and Anambra, Nigeria.
  • NDLEA seized a record 51.90 kg of heroin concealed in metal cutting machines.
  • The arrested individuals were part of an organized crime group trafficking drugs globally.
  • NDLEA thwarted attempts to export cannabis and other drugs from Nigeria.
  • NDLEA vowed to intensify its "War Against Drug Abuse" advocacy and enforcement.