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NDLEA intercepts illicit drugs hidden inside tomato paste tins in Lagos

NDLEA intercepts illicit drugs hidden inside tomato paste tins in Lagos
August 29
17:26 2021

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency says it has intercepted illicit drugs hidden inside tomato paste tins in Lagos.

Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

The package, “4.15kg of methamphetamine”, was said to have been hidden inside the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.

“The drug was concealed in tins of tomato branded sunripe and packaged for the driver of a freight forwarding company to deliver at the airport export shed for onward movement to the UK,” the statement reads.


“Though the freight company’s driver was initially arrested, follow-up investigations and subsequent sting operation led to the arrest of the kingpin behind the consignment, Eze Celestine Okorie, at his Coker, Surulere, Lagos home on Wednesday 25th August, 2021.”

In a related development, the agency said other suspects were arrested in separate raids across the country.

The agency said a suspect, identified as Ibeh Ejike, was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, and 87 wraps of cocaine were recovered from him.


“The 41-year-old suspect who was arrested on Wednesday, 25th August, 2021, upon his arrival on board an Ethiopian Airline flight 911 from Kigali via Addis Ababa was taken in for secondary check during which he tested positive to ingestion of illicit substance,” Babafemi said.

“While under observation, he excreted 87 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.884 kilograms. Ibeh, who imports cloths for sale, hails from Owerrizikeala village in Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra state.

“In Abuja, operatives of the FCT Command of the Agency also intercepted a Hiace bus conveying bags of cannabis, and 30 parcels of skunk, cumulatively weighing 310kilograms along Abaji-Gwagwalada expressway, where another 32kg of Tramadol was equally seized same day.

“In Anambra state, operatives also raided the Onitsha main market, Marine Line on Thursday 26th August with the support of soldiers. Recovered during the raid include: 50kg of cannabis; 150grams of meth and 27.6grams of cocaine. One of the dealers, Moses Obiahu, was arrested.


“In Cross River, one Anietie Attauba was arrested at Idundu community with 9.9 grams of cocaine, while 23-year-old Joy Odey was picked at Nassarawa Bakoko Area of Calabar Municipality LGA on Friday 27th August with 500grams of skunk. On the same day, one Ugwuanyi Chukwujekwu Basil was arrested at AK Divine Park, Harbour Road, Calabar with 2.6kg of cannabis; 10.33grams of cocaine and 30ml of swinol.”

Buba Marwa, NDLEA chairman, commended the operatives, and charged them to intensify their efforts to curtail the trafficking of illicit drugs in Nigeria.


Eze Celestine Okorie





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