BY MAYOWA SAMUEL
A 36-year-old Nigerian, based in Italy, Nwakanma Uche, has excreted 95 pellets of heroin, after he was arrested by operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, who made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said Uche was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after it was discovered that he had ingested the pellets.
Babafemi said that Uche, who hailed from Arodizuogu Village, Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State, was nabbed while trying to board an Air France plane on his way to Paris, France, and Milan, Italy, on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
“He was thereafter kept under observation, during which he excreted the 95 pellets of the illicit drug.
“He claimed he came to see his parents in Nigeria after 12 years in Italy.
“He added that he was to be paid N 1.5 million after a successful delivery of the drugs in Milan,” he said
Meanwhile, the agency has arrested a wanted drug kingpin behind the 2000.6kg Cannabis Sativa seized in a concrete mixer truck, in Adamawa State, on December 2, 2021.
Babafemi said that the suspect, Henry Okamaru (a.k.a. Lawrence Ik Okamaru), was arrested in Ondo state after five months of manhunt by operatives of the NDLEA.
He said that two suspects: Matthew Donuwe and Friday Nmborgwu, were arrested in connection with the consignment, in December, 2021.
Babafemi also said that they had confessed that the concrete mixer truck, with a Lagos registration number, SMK 890 XB, was loaded with the illicit drug in Ogbese, Ondo State.
He added that they traveled for two months on the road before arriving in Adamawa where they were eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives.
According to him, investigations revealed that Okamaru is one of the leaders of a cannabis cultivation cartel that operates in the Ondo-Ekiti axis.
“He shuttles through Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Delta States, from where he coordinates supplies of illicit consignments to northern parts of the country and Lagos State.
“The drug lord has also been identified as a member of an international drug trafficking ring, while he shuttles between Nigeria and South Africa, where his family is settled.
“He has a strong control and stake in cannabis cultivation in Ondo, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States, with large storage facilities in Lagos and Abbi in Delta State, from where his consignments are distributed year round,” he said.
In another development, Babafemi said the NDLEA has intercepted tons of tramadol and cannabis sativa in five states across the country.
He said that NDLEA operatives had intensified their offensive against drug cartels in Edo, Kaduna, Kogi, Akwa Ibom and Oyo States.
According to him, in Edo, a pharmacy along Sapele Road, Benin, was raided on Friday, May 27, following intelligence and prolonged surveillance.
“The owner of the store, Thaddeus Uliagbafusi, 58, was arrested while a total of 130,670 tablets of different controlled drugs were recovered.
“1,396 ampoules of pentazocine injection and 743 bottles of codeine were also recovered from a secret location where the drugs are repackaged.
“This followed a similar raid of a drug, operated by one Mrs. Christianah Gabriel, 53, at Uromi, Esan North East LGA, Edo state, who was arrested with 25kg cannabis,” he said.
Babafemi said that 15,000 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized by operatives in Kaduna along Abuja-Kaduna express road.
These, he said, included 12,500 tablets of Diazepam intercepted along Okene-Abuja highway, Kogi State, on Thursday, May 26.
“The drug exhibits were found inside a truck conveying motor spare parts from Onitsha, Anambra, to Kaduna.
“In Akwa Ibom, a female drug dealer, Irene Emmanuel Bassey, was arrested on Saturday May 28, during a search of her house at Ikpa town, Esit Eket LGA.
“30.5kg cannabis was recovered, while one Muideen Rasaki was nabbed with 90.8kg cannabis at Elere, Boluwaji area of Ibadan South-East LGA, Oyo State.