$278.2 million “biggest cocaine seizure in Nigeria’s history” announced; 4 drug barons, Jamaican, warehouse manager arrested

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Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) of Nigeria says its operatives have busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, where over N194 billion worth of crack were seized.

Its Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, made this known in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

An online publication, Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team, described cocaine as “a powerful stimulant drug that can make you feel extremely happy and energized. Some healthcare providers use it as an anesthetic before surgery.

“In most cases, though, Cocaine is considered an illegal drug.

“Street dealers often mix powdered cocaine with water and baking soda and boil the mixture into a solid, rock-like substance called ‘crack Cocaine’ or just ‘crack.”

Mr Babafemi said the illicit drugs, which were 1.8 tons (1,855 kilogrammes), were worth more than $278.2 million.

He said that it was the equivalent of about N194.7 billion in street value.

The NDLEA spokesperson said the seizures appeared to be “the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the history of Nigeria’s premier anti-narcotic agency”.

According to him, at least, four drug barons, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager have been arrested. “This was done in a well-coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State.”

“They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the agency has been trailing since 2018,” Mr Babafemi said. He said the warehouse, raided by the NDLEA operatives on September 18, was located in Solebo Estate, Ikorodu.

The NDLEA spokesperson said the barons were picked from their hotels and hideouts in different parts of Lagos, between Sunday night and Monday morning.

“Preliminary investigation reveals the class ‘A’ drugs were warehoused in the residential estate, from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.  “They were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums,” he said.

Mr Babafemi quoted the NDLEA Chairperson, Buba Marwa, a retired Brigadier-General, as commending all the officers and men of the agency involved in the extensive investigation.

This, Mr Marwa said, included those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration, (US-DEA). He said the bust was a historical blow to the drug cartels and a strong warning. “They will all go down if they failed to realise that the game had changed,” Mr. Marwa said. ref: NAN

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