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NDLEA arrests ‘wanted drug kingpin’ in Imo

Suspected drug kingpin arrested in Imo Suspected drug kingpin arrested in Imo
The suspect and his associate.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says its operatives have arrested a “wanted drug kingpin” and his associate in Umuomi, Uzogba-Ezenomi community in Ikeduru LGA of Imo state.

In a statement on Tuesday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said the operatives also recovered different quantities of methamphetamine, a psychoactive substance, and weapons during the raid.

Babafemi said the drug cartel is known to produce and distribute methamphetamine, popularly known as “mkpuru mmiri” in the south-east.

The NDLEA spokesperson noted that the leader of the cartel, 42-year-old Joachin Mbonu, was tracked down to his residence in the company of Kenneth Ofoegbu, his associate, on Friday after weeks of surveillance.

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“The cartel with operational bases in Imo and Rivers states became a target of the agency following intelligence indicating it is responsible for the distribution of a substantial quantity of methamphetamine in the south-east, south-south, and other parts of the country,” the statement reads.

“After weeks of surveillance, officers of a special operations unit of the agency on Friday 5th July 2024, tracked and traced the drug lord to his village mansion in Imo state where he was caught with a member of his cartel, Kenneth Chibuike Ofoegbu, 34, with different quantities of methamphetamine, its precursor chemicals, a pump action gun, and cartridges recovered.

“Exhibits recovered from the house include — 419.99 grams of methamphetamine; 750 grams of iodine, a precursor chemical for meth; 500 grams of sodium bicarbonate, a precursor chemical for meth; two electronic weighing scales; and a pump action gun with four cartridges.

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“The operatives moved swiftly to another of Mbonu’s hideouts located at 11 Redemption Avenue, Port Harcourt, Rivers state where they recovered additional exhibits — 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate; 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate, and 75 grams of meth.

“Another raid in the home of one of Mbonu’s associates, Odoemenam Pedro Chinedu, currently at large, at Njaba LGA, Imo state, led to the recovery of another pump action gun with 25 cartridges, among other items.

“While the kingpin cools his heels in custody, two of his mansions in Imo state have been marked for possible forfeiture to the federal government.”

Babafemi said Buba Marwa, chairman of the NDLEA, commended the officers and men involved in the multi-pronged operation.

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