By Salim Yunusa
A Brazil based drug kingpin has been nabbed with 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing about 30 kilogrammes with a street value of over N8 billion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
A statement on Sunday by NDLEA’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi said the drug lord, Ejiofor Enwereaku, who leads a syndicate was arrested at the airport on Friday 14th May, 2021 for importing 27.95 kilogrammes of cocaine using their organised criminal gang, which specialises in tagging/planting drugs in innocent travellers’ luggage.
Babafemi said based on intelligence, narcotic agents at the MMIA had on Saturday 8th May, 2021 intercepted a bag that arrived the Lagos airport from GRU, Brazil via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Ethiopian airline with baggage tag No- ET331199 but was disclaimed by an arriving passenger on the flight.
He said that the disclaimed bag was promptly secured by NDLEA operatives for investigation, adding that on Sunday, 9th May, 2021, a man came to the airport to make inquiry on how to get the disclaimed bag released, which prompted his immediate arrest and investigation.
Babafemi disclosed that the disclaimed bag was opened in the presence of the arriving passenger and the man who had come to negotiate it’s release.
He said when it was opened, the bag was found to contain 36 blocks of cocaine, weighing 27.95 kilogrammes.
He said a follow up sting operation was initiated, which led to the arrest on Friday 14th May of Ejiofor Enwereaku, the prime suspect, upon his arrival from Addis Ababa onboard Ethiopian airline.
The spokesman said during preliminary interrogation after his arrest, Enwereaku
confessed to have been contracted by his Ethiopian associate who is a notorious drug baron to claim and push out the consignment in Lagos, Nigeria.
Babafemi said the suspect also admitted to have paid the $24,500 bribe in three tranches to compromise NDLEA officers. The first was $10,000 delivered through his representative in Lagos and another $10, 000 via his First Bank account while the third tranche of $4,500 was paid at the point of his arrest.
He said Enwereaku’s group is suspected to be responsible for recruiting traffickers to move illicit drugs to various destinations using Nigeria as their transit location and also planting drugs in the luggage of innocent travellers.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) apparently impressed by the outcome of the intelligence-led operational strategies that took weeks of painstaking efforts and closely monitored by him, commended the Commander, MMIA Command of the agency, Ahmadu Garba, his officers and men for their diligence and resilience in following up every lead in the case until the kingpin was successfully entrapped and arrested.
He said: “I have warned that we’ll henceforth not only go after the traffickers but with the same vigour target the cartels and the kingpins that operate them; the latest arrest is a clear confirmation that we’ll match our words with action and that we’ll come for those who will not back out of the criminal trade, wherever they are hiding pushing instruments of death through our borders to destroy the lives of our youths.”