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NDLEA arrests suspected drug barons, seizes N4.7 billion worth cocaine



The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has busted a cartel controlled by two suspected drug barons in Abia State.

The NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday, said the suspects, 49-year-old Kelechi Nwaobasi and his 50-year-old sister, Chinwe Nwaobasi, have been arrested.

Mr Babafemi said that the agency seized some quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine worth over N4.1 billion from the suspects.

The spokesperson said the seizure of the drugs and the arrest of the suspected drug barons were carried out by officers of the Special Operation Unit of the NDLEA.

“The special operation conducted on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th June 2024 at 3B, Boundary Avenue, Aba and a residence along Ohia road, Ohia, Abia State followed months of intelligence gathering, leading to the arrest of the ring leaders and the combined seizure of 20.76 kilogrammes of cocaine and methamphetamine from them,” he said.

Mr Babafemi said operatives of the NDLEA, in a separate operation, uncovered an expansive warehouse stocked with a large consignment of codeine-based syrup and opioids in Lagos State.

The spokesperson said four persons connected to the importation and distribution of the opioids were arrested when the NDLEA operatives raided the warehouse located in the Comfort Oboh Area of Kirikiri in the South-western state.

Mr Babafemi identified the arrested suspects as Kingsley Amanambu Obumneke, 38; Emeka Emmanuel, 48; Bornaventure Ugochukwu, 59; and Martin Dike, 56.

The spokesperson said a Toyota Tacoma truck and two buses used for distributing the substance were recovered from the warehouse during the operation which was conducted on 10 June.

He said apart from the vehicles, 82,000 bottles of opioid, worth more than N600 million in street value, were also recovered from the facility.

“Two days after, Wednesday 12th June, operatives intercepted another suspect, Ibrahim Abdulhamid with 29,100 pills of tramadol and other opioids as well as 3.9 litres of codeine syrup at Alaba Suru, Ojo Local Council Area of the state,” he said.

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