The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) achieved a major breakthrough as its operatives apprehended a notorious drug kingpin involved in trafficking class A drugs to Europe, particularly Italy. The drug lord, Charles Uwagbale, aged 48, was apprehended in his hotel room in Okota, Lagos, while preparing a courier to swallow 93 pellets of cocaine intended for distribution in Italy. Uju Dominic, aged 35, was recruited from Italy and instructed to ingest the pellets before returning to Italy the following day.
Acting on credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives made the arrest and recovered 1.427 kilograms of cocaine. In a related operation, 29 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed in Ondo and Edo states. Additionally, a shipment of 5,122,900 pills of Tramadol 225mg with a street value of about N3.7 billion was intercepted at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Various raids in different states led to the seizure of millions of pills of opioids and cannabis. Notable arrests include suspects found with large quantities of drugs in Bauchi, Adamawa, Imo, Sokoto, Yobe, Edo, Kano, Kogi, and Ogun states. The NDLEA has been working closely with customs officers at the airport and cargo warehouse to thwart drug smuggling attempts.
Furthermore, a bid to smuggle a synthetic variant of cannabis called Colorado into Nigeria through Tincan port in Lagos was foiled. The joint examination of the shipment revealed 161.5kg of the illicit substance concealed in one of four used vehicles in a container from Canada. Three suspects are currently in NDLEA custody, and a bribe of N20 million ($22,900) offered to the operatives by the importer’s agents has been recovered as evidence.
Impressed by the successful arrests and seizures made across various commands, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers and urged them to continue collaborating with other security agencies and stakeholders in the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking.