The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested a popular businessman (names withheld), alleged to be a leader of an international drug trafficking syndicate.
The 37-year-old suspect allegedly recruited and sponsored couriers to China, Malaysia, Turkey and Italy.
Vanguard reports that the arrest followed the agency’s discovery of three laboratories in the suspect's hometown in Anambra state, used for the illegal production of methamphetamine.
Addressing journalists on June 24, Ahmadu Giade, the chairman of the anti-narcotic agency, described the latest operational success as outstanding. He revealed that surveillance indicated that the suspect shuttled between his country home and Isolo in Lagos state.
“He hides under the cover of motorcycle parts business in running a drug cell that has international affiliation. He specialises in recruiting and sponsoring drug couriers to China, Malaysia and Turkey. He also pays his couriers an average of $5,000 per trip.
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“The suspect has two Nigeria international passports and one Ghanaian passport, all bearing his photographs with different names. Two other passports belonging to suspected drug couriers were also seized.
“He hired one Raphael, who is a professional methanphetamine cook to work for him. He pays him N500,000 for his service and N700,000 for the purchase of precursor chemicals per production circle. The production capacity per cycle is 14kg,” Giade said.
During a search of one of the suspect’s laboratories at his house, operatives of the NDLEA recovered 2.615kg of liquid and 250 g of crystallized methamphetamine.
“Also recovered from him are paraphernalia for drug concealment, similar to the ones seized with drugs at the airports and land borders. They include an electronic weighing scale, assorted artefacts, laptop bags, motorcycle parts, air compressors, bus and truck mirrors, araldite and paint, processed brown envelopes and impulse sealer,” the chairman said.
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Giade further stated that operatives intercepted 23kg of methamphetamine along Badagry Expressway, Lagos, en-route Cotonou, which was allegedly traced to the suspect.
The agency reportedly traced some of the assets believed to have been purchased with proceeds from drugs.These included over 16 bank accounts in different banks, a piece of land located at Joy Avenue, Ajao Estate, apartments and several cars.
Giade said that the suspect was standing trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos, in respect of the seizures. He added that some couriers sponsored by him had been also arrested.
Earlier this month the NDLEA has announced that a 24-hectare Indian hemp plantation in Oyo state was destroyed following a six-hour operation.