By Nicholas Kalu, Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has intercepted 26.150kg of heroin with a street value of over N6.5billion at the SAHCO shed of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
One Tony Chidi Onwurolu, a suspected drug baron on the run, has been declared wanted.
NDLEA chair Brig.-Gen Buba Marwa directed that Onwurolu’s details be submitted to Interpol for tracking, spokesman Femi Babafemi said in a statement yesterday.
The statement said the drug arrived in Lagos in 25 parcels from South Africa on an Air Peace flight on June 30 and was detained for screening.
Babafemi said a follow-up operation was carried out the following day, July 1, when narcotic officers trailed the driver and a clearing agent assigned to deliver the consignment to Onwurolu house at No. 132 Lateef Adegboyega Street, off Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos.
He said during the follow-up operation, Onwurolu who, “obviously mounted a counter-surveillance around his neighbourhood, fled before the arrival of the team of operatives who stormed his residence.”
On searching the house, the team recovered a number of documents to establish Onwurolu’s identity, the statement indicated.
An Uber driver Lawal Tunde Rasheed arrested on June 8 in connection with the seizure of a cocaine consignment has been set free following his cooperation that led to the arrest of the suspected owner of the drug Egbo Emmanuel Maduka.
According to Babafemi, Maduka, in his statement accepted ownership of the consignment and absolved Lawal of any complicity.
The statement reads,” In the same vein, operatives of the Command also intercepted a 4.3kg of skunk imported from Canada. The package, which came on Ethiopian Airline, was concealed in nine packs of cereals.
“Also on 9th July, one Babatunde Usman Omogbolahan Bakare was intercepted by NDLEA operatives with 550g of cannabis and 50g of Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam) concealed in six jerry cans of local herbal mixtures called Gabo at SAHCO export shed, MMIA, Ikeja. The drug was detected during outward clearance of Cargo going to Dubai.
“Earlier on Tuesday 6th July, operatives of the MMIA Command, conducted a follow-up operation at Gate 2, Ladipo Oluwole Street, opposite Guinness Bottling Company, Ikeja, where one Animashaun Kabiru was apprehended for questioning about a bag containing bitter cola, which was brought for export to the UK. When the bag of bitter kola was searched, it was discovered that the bitter kola were mixed with some wraps of a substance suspected to be illicit drug. Thirty-six wraps of the suspected substance later tested positive for cocaine weighing 600grams.
Marwa said the Agency will “deploy all available mechanisms, locally and internationally, to track Onwurolu and bring him to face charges in the law court”.