From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has taken into custody an Indian businessman, Vyapak Nutal, for interrogation over the smuggling of 134,700 bottles of codeine syrup into the country through the land border between Nigeria and Niger Republic in Sokoto State.
He was suspected for loading the consignment into trucks in Cotonou, Benin Republic, and drove through the land borders via the Niger Republic before entering Sokoto state at the Illela border.
Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, said the Indian businessman, Nutal, settled in a hotel in Sokoto state and began to look for buyers for the controlled drug.
“While operatives were on his trail, officers of the Department of State Security were able to apprehend him and swiftly handed him over to NDLEA, on Wednesday, February 10, 2022.”
In a related development, attempts by drug traffickers to export large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, khat, tramadol and cannabis through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), as well as three courier companies in Lagos, were frustrated by narcotic officers who intercepted the illicit consignments.
At the Lagos airport, operatives last Tuesday, arrested one Felix Rotimi Eshemokhai with 1.75kg heroin while trying to board Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca, Morocco, while another trafficker, Okafor Emmanuel Onuzuruike, was also nabbed same day during his bid to travel on RwandAir to Dubai with 2.2kg of cannabis concealed in food stuff.
No less than 25 kilograms of methamphetamine, tramadol, cannabis and khat concealed in motor parts, MP3 player, speaker and fabrics heading to USA, UK, Australia, Dubai and Madagascar were seized at three major courier companies in Lagos.
In Gombe state, 31,000 capsules of tramadol were recovered from a truck that left Onitsha, Anambra state for Mubi, Adamawa state, and the owner, Ibrahim Tukur Bage, arrested on Friday, while attempting to escape.
This followed the arrest of Aliu Salami, 43, with 143.9kg cannabis at Oke-Ata, Abeokuta South LGA, Ogun state, last Wednesday.
In the same vein, not even a bunch of talisman (charms) used by a trans-border drug dealer, Shu’aibu Salisu, could save him and his gang as their consignment of 578kg of cannabis meant for Niger Republic was intercepted in Kwara state, on February 8, when two persons: Gambo Lawal and Ibrahim Mohammed, were arrested while conveying the drug to someone in Charanchi, Katsina State.
A follow up operation led to the arrest of Salisu and two others; Sani Musa and Auwal Amina, the day after at different locations within Kaita LGA, Katsina.
In Benue state, a fake security agent, Mr. Dennis Emadiong, was on Saturday, arrested at NDLEA check point, Alaide, Benue, with 239 grams of cannabis and 10 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition while on his way from Akwa Ibom to Maiduguri, Borno state.
Another suspect, Stephen Folorunsho, was also nabbed during a routine stop and search operation, along Apir-Makurdi road, with 147 compressed blocks of cannabis weighing 130kg stuffed inside bales of used clothes, popularly called Okrika, on his way to Gombe state.
In Adamawa state, no fewer than 22,700 tablets of tramadol and Exol-5 were seized in the Numan area of the state from two drug dealers: Mmaduabuchibeya Kingsley and Onyeke Kenneth, in separate raids last Thursday.