Agents from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, dismantled a major warehouse in a remote estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, where 1.8 tonnes (1,855 kilograms) of crack cocaine is worth more than two hundred and seventy -eight million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. ($278,250,000) the equivalent of approximately one hundred and ninety-four billion, seven hundred and seventy-five million (N194, 775,000,000) naira in market value was seized.
NDLEA spokesperson Femi Babafemi, who disclosed in a statement on Monday, September 19, 2022, said the seizure appears to be the largest singular cocaine seizure in the history of the first anti-narcotics agency. from Nigeria.
“At least four drug lords, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager, were arrested in a well-coordinated, intelligence-led operation that lasted two days in different locations around the country. ‘Lagos State,’ the statement read.
Cocaine cartel ringleaders in custody include: Messrs. Soji Jibril, 69, a native of Ibadan, Oyo State; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, from Ekwulobia, Anambra State; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo State; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo State, and Kelvin Smith, 42, from Kingston, Jamaica. They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the Agency has been tracking since 2018.
Located at 6 Olukuola Crescent, Solebo Estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raided on Sunday September 18, 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday evening and Monday September 19 .
The preliminary investigation reveals that the Class A drugs were stored in the residential development from where the cartel attempted to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums.
While commending all Agency officers and men involved in the thorough investigation, including those from the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA), NDLEA Chairman Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa said the bust is a historic blow for the drug cartels and a strong warning that they will all fall if they don’t realize the game has changed.