By Ola Fadoju

In what appears to be the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the history of Nigeria’s premier anti-narcotic agency, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.

Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said that 1.8 tons (1,855 kilograms) of the illicit drug worth more than $278,250,000 equivalent to about N194,775,000,000 in street value were seized.

At least, four drug barons including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager have been arrested in the well-coordinated and intelligent-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State.

Babafemi said: “Kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include: Soji Jubril, 69, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo State; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65 who hails from Ekwulobia, Anambra; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo State, Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo State and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica. The NDLEA has been trailing these members of the international drug syndicate since 2018.

Located at 6, Olukuola Cresent, Solebo estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raised on Sunday 18th September 2022 while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday 19th September.”

Babafemi said that preliminary investigation revealed that the class A drugs were housed in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. They were stored in 10 travelling bags and 13 drums.

While commending all the officers and men of the Agency involved in the extensive investigation including those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration, (US-DEA), Chairman of NDLEA, Brig.Gen Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd) said the bust is a historic blow to the drug cartel and a strong warning that they’ll all be down if they fail to realise that the game is over.

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