NDLEA Urges Nigerians to Avoid Accepting Packed Items while Traveling

By Fatima M. Sambo. 

In a recent development, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has issued a warning to Nigerians about accepting food items not packed by them when traveling. This caution comes after the agency uncovered narcotics concealed within packs of semovita and dry pepper.

According to Femi Babafemi, the spokesperson for the NDLEA, various quantities of ephedrine, skunk, and nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, were intercepted by operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. These prohibited substances were being shipped to South Africa and Kenya within packages of semovita and dry pepper.

Babafemi emphasized the need for vigilance, stating, "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."

It has been discovered that these narcotics were being transported by members of Transnational Drug Trafficking Organisations. As a result, several individuals involved in the illegal trade have been arrested, with their mansions searched and luxury vehicles seized.

In another statement released on the official NDLEA website, Babafemi revealed that Suleiman Babatunde Oba, a notorious drug trafficker, was apprehended while attempting to board a flight to South Africa. Oba, who is part of a cartel distributing cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ephedrine across Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Europe, had hidden two boxes loaded with ephedrine inside sealed semovita packs.

Ephedrine is a precursor chemical and an active ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine. During questioning, Oba identified Hakeem Babatunde Salami as the head of the drug ring. Salami, who resides in both Lagos and South Africa, managed to flee the country on the same day Oba was apprehended. However, a subsequent raid at Salami's residence in Lagos yielded important evidence, including a white Toyota Venza car with registration number LSR 410 HT, a Mercedes Benz SUV marked LSD 998HP, phones, and crucial documents for further investigation.

In an unrelated case, NDLEA operatives successfully arrested a drug kingpin named Ngene Emmanuel Onyedikachi. It was discovered that Onyedikachi recruited a fake couple, Ilonzeh Kingsley Onyebuchi and Ilonzeh Roseline Nonyelum, who were previously apprehended for ingesting cocaine. The couple had attempted to smuggle 1.822kg and 1.50kg of cocaine, respectively, while on their way to India.

After intense surveillance spanning 25 days, Onyedikachi was apprehended at his residence on Afolabi Brown Street in Akoka, Yaba. This significant breakthrough will aid further investigations into drug trafficking networks operating within the country.

The NDLEA continues to urge citizens to be cautious when accepting food items while traveling, emphasizing the importance of personal packing to avoid becoming unwitting carriers of prohibited substances. The agency remains dedicated to combating drug trafficking and protecting the nation from the detrimental effects of illicit drugs.

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