NDLEA Dismantles Major Drug Cartels, Seizes Billions in Cocaine and Fentanyl

─ Couple Among Six Arrested in High-Stakes Operations; Concealed Shipment Intercepted

By Joke Kujenya

TWO SIGNIFICANT drug cartels in Lagos and Ogun states have successfully dismantled by the operatives from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), seizing multi-billion-naira consignments of cocaine and fentanyl.

The operations led to the arrest of six individuals, including a couple believed to be at the helm of one of the cartels.

Bolanle Lookman Dauda and Olayinka Toheebat Dauda were captured on Saturday, May 25, 2024, during a meticulously coordinated operation along the Lagos-Badagry expressway. Assisted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, NDLEA officers intercepted the couple while they attempted to transport 42 blocks of cocaine, weighing 47.5 kilograms, across the border into Ghana.

A subsequent raid at their residence at Plot 24/25 OPIC Extension, Petedo Road, Agbara, Ogun State, revealed an additional eight blocks of cocaine, weighing 10 kilograms, bringing the total haul to 57.5 kilograms.

In another strategic operation targeting a fentanyl trafficking syndicate, NDLEA officers recovered 1,100 ampoules of the lethal synthetic opioid, weighing 6.48 kilograms, from Ikeh Stanley Ifeanyi, 34, at the bustling Idumota market in Lagos Island. Additionally, 790 ampoules of fentanyl, weighing 5.273 kilograms, were seized from Chieze Ogechukwu Benjamin, 48, another member of the syndicate arrested at the same market.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than heroin, is a leading cause of overdose deaths in the United States.

Further reinforcing their offensive, NDLEA officers arrested Olayiwola Aremu Kazeem, 37, and Ogunfowora Taofik Ajibola, 35, on Lagos Island. They were found in possession of 432 grams of methamphetamine during a targeted raid.

The crackdown extended to Tincan Port in Lagos, where NDLEA operatives intercepted a shipment of 15 parcels of Loud, a potent synthetic strain of cannabis.

Weighing 7.5 kilograms, the drugs were concealed within the doors and body crevices of a Toyota Highlander SUV.

The vehicle was part of a container shipment marked MSMU 7294325, originating from Toronto and shipped to Nigeria via Montreal. Follow-up operations led to the arrests of Sunday Sodade and Oriyomi Adesina, who were set to receive the vehicle and its illicit contents.

A bribe of N6 million offered by the sender’s agent in Canada was recorded as evidence for prosecution.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the dedication and effectiveness of the special operations unit.

He emphasized the importance of continued collaboration with local and international agencies in dismantling drug networks.

Marwa urged all NDLEA commands to maintain their aggressive stance against the drug trade, reaffirming the agency’s commitment to protecting public health and security.  

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