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Nigerian Arrests Confirm Durban is SA’s Main Drug Export Transit Point

Nigerian Arrests Confirm Durban is SA’s Main Drug Export Transit Point

Kingsley Omonobi

11 March 2024 at 07:00:00

Nigerian authorities believe that an international drug smuggling syndicate based in South Africa is sending cannabis and cocaine to the West African country, including the powerful new strain, ‘Colorado’.

This report from published on 26 February 2024.

Following the interception of two containers loaded with illicit hard drugs and cache of arms and ammunition imported from Durban, South Africa, at the Tin Can Seaport, in Lagos, operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have begun to unmask members of the organised criminal network responsible.

Towards this end, operatives have arrested some members of the syndicate, including a clearing and notify party of the two containers, Falowo Kayode, a dock worker, Anjorin Idowu and Uzairu Iguda, who were in charge of the Five Star terminal at the port.

Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, while confirming the arrests, said another dock worker at the terminal, Mohammed Sule (alias Organiser), who is equally linked to the syndicate is currently at large.

He said: "Based on credible intelligence, the agency had requested a 100 percent joint examination of two containers marked MSCU 4581770 and TRHU 7968071 from South Africa.

"As a result, the exercise was conducted with other stakeholders on January 18 and 19, 2024, during which 56.39kg cocaine and 795kg Colorado, a synthetic strong strain of cannabis among other illegal items were recovered from the containers.

"Following a tasking order by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Marwa (retd) to a combined team of specialised units of the agency to unravel those behind the importation of the large consignments of the illicit drugs, ongoing investigations have led to the discovery of more bags of colorado weighing 192.7kg, a pistol, and rounds of ammunition removed from the container, MSCU 4581770 and hidden in an empty container before the 100 percent joint examination at the Five Star terminal.

"As a result, two suspects, Uzairu Iguda, who is in charge of the terminal's container positioning and stacking, and Anjorin Idowu, who is a dock worker in the terminal have been arrested. Another suspect, Mohammed Muktar Sule (alias organizer) now at large, is also a dock worker in the terminal.

"Investigations reveal that the three suspects conspired with the agent and notify party, Falowo Kayode to remove the 192.7kg Colorado, pistol and rounds of ammunition from the container to an empty container in the terminal.

"The latest seizure brings the total recovered from the two containers to 56.39kg of cocaine and 987.9kg of Colorado with a combined weight of 1,044.29kg.

"Investigations have also revealed three kingpins believed to be based in South Africa and connected with the importation of the containers.

"They include: Odeyemi Emmanuel; Akinyemi Olayinka and Adebayo Emmanuel, who are now on the agency's wanted list.

In Edo state, NDLEA officers on February 20, raided a drug joint under powerline off Etete Road, GRA Benin City, Edo State, where they arrested a sales girl, Jessica Destiny, 24, and recovered assorted illicit drugs.

"A follow up operation the following day led to the arrest of the owner of the joint, 36-year-old Ibrahim Sani who is the Commander, Arewa Association Vigilantes in the area."

While a consignment of 179kg cannabis was recovered by operatives at Badagry Waterside, Lagos on February 21, a 67-year-old grandpa, Rafiu Ogunro was nabbed on February 22, at Magbon, Ogun State with 57kg cannabis, 2,700 pills of tramadol, and 231 bottles of Codeine syrup, weighing 2.31 litres.

In Borno, a 25-year-old lady, Zara Mele was arrested with quantities of cocaine and heroin at Baga check point on February 20, while Usman Shuaibu, 26, and Mohammed Lawan, 22, were also nabbed with quantities of the same class A drug at Meri and Babban Layi areas of Maiduguri the same day respectively.

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