India-Bound Businessman Arrested With 9.4 Kilogrammes Heroin At Lagos Airport, Says NDLEA


* Agency Partners Pakistani Counterparts*

NabbedOperatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a businessman, Kingsley Celestino at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos with  9.4 kilogrammes of heroin concealed in false bottoms of his two travelling bags.

A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi revealed that Celestino, a business class passenger on a Qatar Airline flight was arrested at Terminal 2 of the MMIA last Saturday on his way to India. Though a Nigerian, the 49-year-old was travelling with a Guinean international passport.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect has frequently traveled to India on business class tickets. Celestino, who claimed he deals in the clothing business between Nigeria and India, was gathered to have obtained the Guinean international passport in Guinea Bissau, his mother’s country.

Babafemi also disclosed that a 24-year-old passenger travelling to Oman, Etounu Monday, was intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja last Monday during the outward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight ET 950 while attempting to export 1.92 kilogrammes of skunk concealed in cream tubes.

The spokesman said at the Tincan seaport, Lagos, NDLEA operatives last  Friday recovered 244 parcels of Canadian Loud weighing 79 kilogrammes concealed in medium size wooden sound system speakers packed inside two out of four used vehicles in a container marked CRSU9258348 coming from Toronto via Montreal, Canada, adding that the imported vehicles used as cover for the drugs are a 2009 Jeep Wrangler and a 2009 Honda Ridgeline.

Similarly, NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation, DOGI, attached to courier firms in Lagos intercepted a consignment of nine parcels of methamphetamine concealed in native black soap, Dudu Osun, heading to Europe.

No fewer than 778,190 pills of pharmaceutical opioids including tramadol and a drum of 270 kilogrammes methylene chloride were recovered by operatives from a suspect, Eric Yohanna, 33, in Jalingo, Taraba state last Monday following credible intelligence. Also seized from him is a Daylong tricycle used in distributing the illicit substances.

Babafemi said in Adamawa state, the house of a wanted notorious drug dealer, Mamudu Njobdi at Sebore, Gyalla road Dougada ward, Mubi was raided in the early hours of last Monday where he was arrested and drug exhibits were recovered.

He said the 31-year-old suspect was earlier arrested on Wednesday 22nd February at his drug joint in Kolere water board but mobilized thugs to attack NDLEA officers and in the process escaped with exhibits.

A suspect, Geoffrey Okpani, 31, was arrested in the Bukuru area of Jos, Plateau state with 27.45 kilogrammes of cannabis, Ajayi Tope, 30, was arrested on Saturday 4th March at Area 5 Ile-Ife, in Ife south local government area of Osun state with 18 kilogrammes of the same substance.

In Lagos, NDLEA operatives last Friday raided De-Niche Hotel & Suites, Omole Estate, Ojodu Ikeja where 24 suspects were arrested and different quantities of illicit drugs were recovered from them.

Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while reacting to the arrests and seizures of the past week, commended the officers, men and women of MMIA, NAIA, Tincan, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Osun and Lagos Commands as well as DOGI for their efforts, however, charged them and their counterparts across the country to intensify the ongoing mop-up operations to deny political thugs access to illicit substances ahead of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections this weekend.
Meanwhile, NDLEA has held talks with its Pakistani counterparts, the Division of Controlled Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and Controlled Substances Section, Ministry of Narcotics Control to explore ways of collaboration to restrict channels of trafficking illicit substances between Nigeria and Pakistan.

A signed statement by the spokesman of the anti-narcotics agency, Femi Babafemi on Saturday said the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) had approved a delegation comprising Joseph Sunday Nbona,  Director, of Prosecution and Legal Services; Gadzama Samuel Bashir, Director, Operations and General Investigation; Abdulrahman Adebowale, Head, of Data/Digital Intelligence, Directorate of Intelligence and Aminu Danjuma Jega, Directorate of Seaport Operations, who were joined by Aderemi Afolabi,  Deputy Director, Investigation and Enforcement, NAFDAC, for the February 27th meeting in Vienna, Austria.

He said the strategic case meeting, which brought the two countries face to face to discuss their responsibilities, held under the supervision of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) focused on improved communication and exchange of real-time intelligence using the INCB communication tools, Ion Incident Communication System, IONICS between NDLEA and the Pakistani anti-narcotics agencies.

Babafemi disclosed that at the end of the talks, the two delegations adopted important resolutions on how to improve their cooperation and tackle the menace of illicit drug trafficking between both countries especially pharmaceutical opioids like tramadol.

He said the Pakistani delegation was composed of Mr. Ahmad Din, Director of, the Division of Controlled Drugs, DRAP; Mr. Arif Muhammad, Additional Director of, the Division of Controlled Drugs, DRAP; Mr. Ammar Ali, Director (Anti-Narcotics Force), Regional Directorate, North, ANF; and Mr. Syed Saadat Ali Bokhari, Section Officer, Controlled Substances Section, Ministry of Narcotics Control.

Babafemi said they expressed commitment to improving operational communication with the NDLEA through existing networks between both countries and by using more frequently the possibilities offered by IONICS, the INCB’s tool of real-time communication.


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