NDLEA Crushes Major Methamphetamine Cartel, Arrests Kingpin in Imo

By Ajibola Olaide, JKNMedia Reporter

OPERATIVES OF the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have successfully dismantled a major drug cartel responsible for the production and distribution of methamphetamine, known locally as ‘mkpuru mmiri’.

The syndicate leader, 42-year-old Joachin Chikaodi Mbonu, was arrested alongside his associate in a raid on his mansion in Umuomi village, Uzogba-Ezenomi autonomous community, Ikeduru local government area of Imo State.

Following weeks of surveillance, NDLEA officers from a special operations unit apprehended Mbonu on Friday, July 5, 2024.

He was found in possession of various quantities of methamphetamine, precursor chemicals, a pump action gun, and cartridges.

Seized items included 419.99 grams of methamphetamine, 750 grams of iodine, 500 grams of sodium bicarbonate, two electronic weighing scales, and a pump action gun with four cartridges.

The investigation extended to Mbonu’s hideout at 11 Redemption Avenue, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where operatives discovered 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate, 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate, and 75 grams of methamphetamine.

A subsequent raid at the residence of Mbonu’s associate, Odoemenam Pedro Chinedu, in Njaba LGA, Imo State, uncovered another pump action gun with 25 cartridges. Chinedu remains at large.

Mbonu had previously fled South Africa, where he had been under investigation for drug-related activities.

Upon returning to Nigeria, he established clandestine laboratories in remote villages to continue his illicit trade.

NDLEA Chairman and Chief Executive Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) praised the officers for their effective operation, emphasizing that the takedown sends a clear message to other drug cartels operating in the country.

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