The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted travellers’ cheques in different foreign currencies with a total value of N1,157,670,469.92 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos.
This is coming barely a few days after the anti-drug agency arrested the billionaire drug baron allegedly linked to the N3 billion Tramadol deal linked to Abba Kyari.
This disclosure is contained in a press statement signed by NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Abuja, and can be seen on the agency’s official Twitter handle.
What the NDLEA spokesman is saying
Babafemi in the statement said that at least one suspect identified as Oguma Richard Uchenna has been arrested in connection to the attempt to export the cheques, which were neatly concealed inside 4 bound hardcover books disguised as academic project literature, to the United Kingdom.
The statement from Babafemi partly reads, ‘’The financial instruments suspected to be counterfeits were discovered on Wednesday 27th April at NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport during cargo examination of some consignments meant for exportation to the UK on a cargo flight.
“A breakdown of the cheques showed they have monetary values of Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty Three Dollars, Thirty One Cent ($287, 623.31); One Million Four Hundred and Fifty-Six Thousand Three Hundred Canadian Dollars ($1,456,300) and One Million Two Hundred and Ninety-Seven Thousand Eight Hundred (1,297,800) Euros.’’
Interception of 10.89Kg of cocaine, 2.5kg of Tramadol, others
- Babafemi also stated that operatives of NDLEA foiled an attempt by drug traffickers to smuggle into Nigeria 10.89 kilograms of cocaine through a Qatar Airways flight at the Murtala Muhammed International airport.
- He said the illicit drug was hidden in 7 children’s duvets packed in an unaccompanied bag from Brazil.
- On Tramadol seizure, the NDLEA Spokesman said, ‘’Meanwhile, raid operations in Kaduna, Ondo and Akwa Ibom state have led to the seizure of about 2,000kg of Tramadol, Codeine, Cannabis and Heroin. In Ondo state, 401kg of cannabis was recovered and two suspects: Julius Dapo, 56 and Emeka Ikebuaku, 32, were arrested at Ipele forest in the Owo area on Sunday, April 24th.
- On the same day, a transborder drug trafficker, Chigbo Chinonye, was arrested with amphetamine weighing 2.5kg and heroin weighing 0.5kg during a stop and search operation conducted along Oron- Ibaka road on his way to Cameroon. He concealed the drugs using false bottom packaging.
- ‘’In Kaduna, a total of 47 cartons of suspected fake Tramadol, comprising 2,350,000 tablets, weighing 1222kg were seized in Zaria on Monday 25th April while a dealer, Chinedu Asogwa was arrested the following day 26th April along Abuja-Kaduna express road, with 2919 bottles of cough syrup with codeine, measuring 291.9litres and a gross weight of 396kg.’’
- While commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Ondo, Akwa Ibom and Kaduna Commands of the Agency for the seizures and arrests in the past week, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) charged them and their compatriots across the country to remain steadfast and vigilant in their areas of responsibility.
What you should know
- The NDLEA under the administration of its current Chairman/Chief Executive, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, has rejuvenated its operations across the country and increased its tempo in its fight against drug trafficking and consumption and other related crimes with an increased number of seizures and arrests, especially the high profile ones.
- In its latest operation, the NDLEA on April 25, 2022, announced the arrest of Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu, an alleged billionaire drug baron behind the N3 billion Tramadol deal linked to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, who is also undergoing prosecution.