The Guardian (Nigeria)

NDLEA intercepts N6.5bn heroin at Lagos airport

Blocks cocaine, others from going to UK, Dubai

- By Bertram Nwannekanm­a

OPERATIVES of the National Drug Law Enforcemen­t Agency ( NDLEA) have intercepte­d a consignmen­t of 26.150 kilogramme­s of heroin with a street value of over N6.5 billion at the SAHCO shed of the Murtala Mohammed Internatio­nal Airport ( MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.

The illicit drug arrived Lagos in 25 parcels from South Africa through an Air Peace flight on June 30, and was detained for screening following reasonable suspicion of the content of the consignmen­t.

The agency’ Director, Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement that a follow- up operation was subsequent­ly carried out the following day, July 1, when narcotic officers of the MMIA command trailed the driver and a clearing agent that were assigned to deliver the consignmen­t to the house of a baron, Tony Chidi Onwurolu, at No. 132 Lateef Adegboyega Street, off Ago Palace Way by Grandmate Bus Stop Okota, Lagos.

According to him, during the follow- up operation, Onwurolu, who obviously mounted a counter- surveillan­ce around his neighbourh­ood, fled his home before the arrival of the team of operatives who stormed his residence.

They were, however, able to search his home and recovered a number of documents to establish his true identity.

Following the developmen­t, the Chairman/ Chief Executive of NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa, has directed that the fleeing drug baron, Tony Chidi Onwurolu, be declared wanted immediatel­y and his details submitted to Interpol for tracking across the world.

He therefore directed the agency’s Directorat­e of Assets and Financial Investigat­ions, as well as the Directorat­e of Intelligen­ce, to deploy their networks to fast- track the arrest of Onwurolu.

Marwa said in view of the volume of heroin brought into the country by the fleeing baron, the agency would deploy all available mechanisms, locally and internatio­nally, to track him and bring him to face charges in the law court.

“Those who have been on the run for 10 years and some for five years, we have since tracked them and are now facing charges while cooling their heels behind bars. The latest one won’t be an exception, because he can only run, but cannot hide for too long before we will get him,” Marwa said.

Babafemi also stated that the agency intercepte­d 4.3kgs of skunkweed imported from Canada. The package, which came on Ethiopian Airline, was concealed in nine packs of cereals.

He said: “Also, on July 9, one Babatunde Usman Omogbolaha­n Bakare was intercepte­d by NDLEA operatives with 550grams of cannabis and 50grams of Rohypnol ( Flunitraze­pam) concealed in six jerry cans of local herbal mixtures called Gabo at SAHCO export shed, MMIA, Ikeja. The drug was detected during outward clearance of Cargo going to Dubai.

 ??  ?? Seized drugs
Seized drugs
 ??  ?? Onwurolu
 ??  ?? Suspect

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