As NDLEA Blocks Cocaine, Others Going To UK, Dubai
Frees Uber Driver
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted a consignment of 26.150kilograms of heroin with a street value of over N6.5billion at the SAHCO shed of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos.
According to the director, media and advocacy, NDLEA headquarters, Femi Babafemi in a statement today, the illicit drug had arrived Lagos in 25 parcels from South Africa through an Airpeace Airline flight on 30th June, 2021.
He said the parcels were detained for screening following reasonable suspicion of the content of the consignment.
Babafemi added that a follow up operation was subsequently carried out the following day, 1st July, 2021 when narcotic officers of the MMIA command of NDLEA 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.
“During the follow up operation, Tony Chidi 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,” the statement reads.
Babafemi said the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) 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.
The NDLEA boss 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, NDLEA 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 cant hide for too long before we get him,” The NDLEA boss said.
In the same vein, NDLEA operatives of the MMIA command also intercepted a 4.3kg of skunk imported from Canada.
Babafemi said the package, which came on Ethiopian Airline, was concealed in nine packs of cereals.
The NDLEA spokesman said on 9th July, 2021 one Babatunde Usman Omogbolahan Bakare was also 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.
He said the drug was detected during outward clearance of Cargo going to Dubai.
Meanwhile, Babafemi said earlier on Tuesday 6th July, 2021 NDLEA operatives of MMIA Command conducted a follow-up operation at Gate 2, Ladipo Oluwole Street, opposite Guinness Bottling Company, Ikeja, where one Animashaun Kabiru was apprehended for questioning about a bag containing bitter cola, which was brought for export to the UK.
He said when the bag of the bitter kola was searched, it was discovered that the bitter kola were mixed with some wraps of a substance suspected to be illicit drug and the thirty-six wraps of the suspected substance tested positive for Cocaine weighing 600grams.
In a related development, an Uber driver, Lawal Tunde Rasheed, who was arrested on 8th June in connection with seizure of a cocaine consignment has been freed following his cooperation that led to the arrest of the real owner of the drug, Mr. Egbo Emmanuel Maduka.
Babafemi said Maduka in his statement accepted ownership of the consignment and absolved Lawal of any complicity.
While commending officers and men of the MMIA command of NDLEA for the series of seizures and arrests in the past week, General Marwa asked them not to rest on their oars.
“We must all remain fully prepared and proactive at all times if we have to battle this scourge to a standstill,” the NDLEA boss said.