The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested an alleged Brazil-based drug kingpin, identified as Ejiofor Felix Enwereaku, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
Enwereaku, at the time of arrest, had in his possession 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing 27.95 kilogrammes, with a street value of over ₦8bn, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA's Director, Media & Advocacy, said in a statement on Sunday.
He allegedly leads an organized criminal gang, which specializes in tagging/planting drugs in innocent travellers' luggage.
The alleged drug kingpin was arrested on Friday 14th May 2021 when he arrived Nigeria from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, via an Ethiopian airline.
The statement reads,
"Based on intelligence, narcotic agents at the MMIA had on Saturday 8th May 2021 intercepted a bag that arrived the Lagos airport from GRU, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Ethiopian airline with baggage tag No- ET331199 but was disclaimed by an arriving passenger on the flight. 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 the $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."
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended the Commander, MMIA Command of the agency, Ahmadu Garba, his officers and men for their diligence and resilience in following up every lead in the case until the kingpin was successfully entrapped and arrested.
"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", Gen. Marwa stated.
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