The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested a Brazil-based Nigerian suspected drug baron in connection with 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing 27.95 kg and valued at N8 billion impounded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
Mr Femi Babafemi, the Director, Media and Advocacy of NDLEA, who announced this on Sunday, said the suspect (name withheld) is the leader of a syndicate on hard drugs.
According to him, the suspect was arrested at the airport on Friday, 14th May, 2021 for importing 27.95kg of cocaine using their organised criminal gang, which specialises in tagging/planting drugs in innocent travellers’ luggage.
Babafemi said based on intelligence, narcotic agents at the MMIA had intercepted a bag that arrived at the Lagos airport from GRU, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Ethiopian airline with baggage tag No- ET331199 but was disclaimed by a passenger on the flight.
He said the disclaimed bag was promptly secured by NDLEA operatives for investigation.
“On Sunday, 9th May, 2021, a man came to the airport to make inquiry on how to get the disclaimed bag released. He was promptly arrested for investigation.
“The disclaimed bag was opened in the presence of the arriving passenger and the man who came to negotiate the release of the disputed bag. When it was opened, it was found that the bag contained 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing 27.95kg.
“A follow up sting operation was carried out, which led to the arrest of Ejiofor Felix Enwereaku, the prime suspect, on Friday 14th May upon his arrival from Addis Ababa onboard Ethiopian airline.
“During preliminary interrogation after his arrest, he confessed to have been contracted by his Ethiopian associate who is a notorious drug baron to claim and push out the consignment in Lagos, Nigeria.
“He further admitted to have paid $24,500 bribe in three tranches to compromise NDLEA officers. The first was $10,000 delivered through his representative in Lagos and another $10, 000 via his First Bank account while the third tranche of $4,500 was paid at the point of his arrest.
“His group is suspected to be responsible for recruiting traffickers to move illicit drugs to various destinations using Nigeria as their transit location and also planting drugs in the luggage of innocent travellers,” Babafemi said in a statement given to Persecondnews.
The director said that the Chairman of the agency, Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd), who was impressed by the arrest, commended the Commander, MMIA Command of the agency, Ahmadu Garba, his officers and men for the operational strategies that led to arrest of the suspect.
“I have warned that we’ll henceforth not only go after the traffickers but with the same vigour target the cartels and the kingpins that operate them.
“The latest arrest is a clear confirmation that we’ll match our words with action and that we’ll come for those who will not back out of the criminal trade.
“Wherever they are hiding pushing instruments of death through our borders to destroy the lives of our youths”, Babafemi quotes the agency’s chairman as saying.