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Contraband: NDLEA warns Nigerians to avoid travelling with packaged items by others

*The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency cautions Nigerian travellers against receiving packages from other people to avoid being implicated in illegal drug-trafficking related matters

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has advised Nigerians to be cautious of packages they receive from people when travelling in order to avoid being implicated in illicit drug trafficking cases.

Mr. Femi Babafemi, Director of Media and Advocacy at NDLEA, gave the advice in a statement issued Sunday, September 3, 2023.

The anti-narcotics regulatory agency stated: “Operatives of the NDLEA had intercepted various quantities of ephedrine, skunk and nitrous oxide, popularly known as laughing gas concealed in Semovita packs and dry pepper being shipped to South Africa and Kenya through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

“The parcel of a packaged food item isn’t always what you think it is.

“Again, we insist, don’t accept any item not packed by you when travelling. Save yourself the ordeal.”

The statement noted the NDLEA said the narcotics were being shipped by some drug peddlers of Transnational Drug Trafficking Organisations.

Some of them were promptly arrested, their mansions raided and their luxury vehicles seized in the process, disclosed Babafemi.

In a related development, the NDLEA in a report on its corporate Web site, said, “through credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 25th August intercepted a notorious drug trafficker, Suleiman Babatunde Oba, who is a member of a cartel distributing Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine and Ephedrine between Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Europe.

“He was arrested while attempting to board a Rwanda Air flight to South Africa with two boxes loaded with ephedrine sealed in semovita packs.”

The agency also stated: “The recovered substance is a precursor chemical and active ingredient in the production of methamphetamine.

“In his statement, Suleiman who holds a South African passport, is married to a South African lady and has lived there for over 20 years, identified Hakeem Babatunde Salami, who equally lives in Lagos and South Africa as the head of the drug ring.

“A follow-up raid in the house of Salami located at 75 Wosilatu Dawodu Street, Ijesa, Aguda area of Surulere, Lagos on Monday 28th August revealed that he had fled the country on the same day Suleiman was arrested.”

It further said: “However, a white Toyota Venza car with registration number LSR 410 HT, a Mercedes Benz SUV marked LSD 998HP, phones and vital documents needed for further investigation were recovered from the house.

“Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives on Friday 25th August succeeded in arresting a drug kingpin, Ngene Emmanuel Onyedikachi, who recruited the fake couple, Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi and Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum arrested for ingesting 1.822kg and 1.50kg of Cocaine respectively at the Lagos airport on 1st August while on their way to India.”

The NDLEA added “the kingpin was apprehended at his residence located at 28 Afolabi Brown Street, Akoka, Yaba, after intensive surveillance that lasted 25 days.”

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