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CRIME

NSCDC Smashes Fake Currency Syndicates

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Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have smashed two syndicates that specialize in criminal conspiracy, cheating, obtaining by trick (OBT) and production/distribution of counterfeited US Dollars (USD) and new Naira notes into society.

A statement on Friday by the spokesman of the Corps, Olusola Odumosu read that acting on credible Intelligence, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ Special Intelligence Squad (CG’s SIS) in clandestine operations, arrested two syndicates alleged to be involved in offenses ranging from criminal conspiracy, cheating, obtaining by trick (OBT) and production/distribution of counterfeited US Dollars (USD) and new Naira notes into the society.

Odumosu said one of the groups arrested, which consisted of four male adults was caught in possession of $64,800 and N475,000 notes, while fake notes of N1.5 million were also seized from the second group consisting of five male adults

He revealed that the names of members of the syndicate arrested with the sum of N1.5m are; Dantala Omale, 30 years, Musa Abdullahi, 24 years, Audu Abdulazeez, 56 years, Umar Hassan 46 years and Mahammadu Yakubu, 30 years.

He disclosed that the arrest was effected when one Dantala Omale was lured to Nasarawa from Plateau state and picked up by the squad on the 22nd of February, 2023, with fake new naira notes of N412,000.

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According to him, the arrested suspect confessed to getting the fake notes from Musa Abdullahi, aka Baballe which led to the arrest of Abdullahi on 22nd of February, 2023 at Namu area of Quanpan local government area n Plateau state in possession of N49,650 old naira notes.

He said after a thorough interrogation, Abdullahi confessed that he usually gets his supply of fake currencies from one Audu Abdulazeez, aka Dan-Gombe, who the squad arrested on the 3rd of March 2023, at Plateau Express service motor park in Jos, Plateau State, at about 11:20 a.m with N350,000 fake newly redesigned Naira notes.

He said the effort of the squad to arrest all members of the syndicate paid off when Abdulazeez confessed to giving one Umar Hassan the fake notes. When Hassan was apprehended, he had N20,500 and he also confessed to his involvement in the crime and that he regularly transact with one Mohammadu Yakubu, who was also arrested close to the old CBN office in Lafia town, at about 3:10 p.m on March 5, 2023, with fake N2000 of the new Naira notes.

He said the further investigation, however, revealed that the group operated within and around Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.

He said members of the second syndicate arrested with the exhibits of $64,800 and N475,000 are; Jonathan Dakogol, Abbas Ibrahim, Isa Ukashatu and Aminu Isa.

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Isa Ukashatu and Jonathan Dakogol were arrested with fake $64,800 and N475,000 at Akurba of Lafia local government area in Nasarawa State after being lured to deliver the money to a client.

He said upon arrest, Dakogol volunteered and led the CG’s SIS operatives to the Kurgwi area in Quaan’Pan local government area, Plateau State, where one Aminu Isa who was alleged to be a herbalist was also arrested.

Isa also led the Squad to the arrest of one 62 years old Abbas Ibrahim in the Quaan’Pan local government area, Plateau State who had collected $30,000 in fake US Dollars from him.

He said all suspects at the point of arrest were found in possession of fake dollars and the newly redesigned Naira notes ranging from N500 to N1000 denominations respectively and had also confessed to being involved in the business for over five years.

Meanwhile, the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi has commended the CG’s SIS for a job well done and described the criminal gangs as economic saboteurs destroying the country through the perpetration of financial crimes and defrauding of innocent citizens.

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He stated that their arrest is a good omen for the country because it helped to stop the distribution and influx of fake currencies into a society which could have caused great setbacks to the economy.

He charged the squad leader, DCC Appollos Dandaura, and his team to intensify efforts for more arrests by launching their dragnet further into every nook and cranny of the country to fish out other dangerous criminal elements and syndicates perpetrating heinous financial crimes at the detriment of the nation.

He warned all criminal syndicates to desist from this venture and get other legitimate means of survival or face the wrath of the law because NSCDC and other security agencies will fish them out no matter their hiding places.

Odumosu said the arrested suspects are still assisting the Corps with useful information for further investigation and would be handed over to the appropriate authority for prosecution after the preliminary investigation is concluded.

He said a manhunt has been launched for other fleeing members of the syndicates.

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CRIME

NDLEA Arrests Pregnant Woman, Widow Over N3.2 Million Counterfeit Cash, Illicit Substances

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) intercepted a commercial bus carrying N3.2 million in counterfeit cash owned by three suspects: an eight-month pregnant woman named Favour Peter, 24, Esther Adukwu, 27, and Ochigbo Michael, 39.

They were later apprehended at Jabi Park in Abuja in a follow-up operation last Tuesday following the discovery of the counterfeit naira notes in Lokoja, Kogi state.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by the anti-narcotics agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, this is even as NDLEA officers in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Navy Ship Lugard base, Lokoja intercepted 37-year-old Aliyu Lawal along Lokoja-Abuja road last Monday and recovered 620 blocks of cannabis weighing 310 kilogrammes from him, while 10 sacks of the same psychoactive substance weighing 98 kilogrammes were seized along Okene-Lokoja-Abuja express way by NDLEA operativ

Mrs. Theodora Ita, a 40-year-old widow and mother of two, was arrested by NDLEA operatives last Monday in Bassey Edom, Calabar, for producing and selling a lethal new psychoactive substance, NPS, locally known as ‘Combine,’ which is a mixture of different strains of cannabis and opioids soaked in raw gin. At the time of her arrest, 18 litres of the dangerous substance were discovered in used paint drums on her.

In her statement to the NDLEA, Edom claimed that she began illicit drug production and distribution in October 2023. Another suspect, Godwin Okon, 48, was apprehended last Tuesday in Calabar’s Essit Ebum area with 39.4 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa.

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While two suspects, Sani Mohammed, 43, and Christopher Eze, 64, were apprehended in Kano’s Sabon Gari area on Tuesday with 900,000 opioid pills recovered, NDLEA agents on patrol along Imo state’s Owerri-Onitsha road intercepted a logistics truck with registration number JGB 403XB on Friday and discovered 230 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 119 kilogrammes hidden under household items after a thorough search.

Babafemi disclosed that at least 252 kilogrammes of cannabis were seized during a raid at Ijesa Isu forest, Ekiti state on Saturday while four suspects: Adamu Umar, 39; Abdullahi Gimba, 27; Julius Uduakhomu, 28; and Michael Sunday, 24, were nabbed loading 40 kilogrammes of same substance to the engine compartment of a gas truck at Agho village, Owan East local government area of Edo state. He added that two motorcycles used in conveying the consignment to where the gas truck heading to the North was parked, were also recovered.

In Ogun state, a suspect, Ismaila Ogun, was arrested last Friday with 79 kilogrammes of cannabis at Imeko, while 18-year-old Friday Abah was apprehended with 410 kilogrammes of the same substance when NDLEA agents raided Obatedo camp, Itaogbolu forest, Akure North local government area, Ondo state.

The NDLEA spokesperson stated with the same zeal, the various commands of the agency across the country.
continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week.

Meanwhile, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) congratulated officers and men from the agency’s Kogi, Cross River, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Kano, and Edo commands on their outstanding achievements in drug supply reduction, and praised them and their counterparts in all commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures aimed at reducing drug demand.

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CRIME

Gunmen Abduct TV Reporter In Rivers, Demand N30m Ransom

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Gunmen have kidnapped one of the reporters of Channels Television in Rivers State, Joshua Rogers.

The abduction of Rogers on Thursday night, Saturday INDEPENDENT gathered, happened around 9 p.m. close to his residence at Rumuosi, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

Our correspondent learnt that the victim was driving in his official branded vehicle home when the hoodlums accosted him, threatened him with a gun, and whisked him away to an unknown location using his vehicle.

Rogers before he was kidnapped was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House, Port Harcourt, after covering a political event in Andoni Local Government Area of the state.

Meanwhile, the abductors, it was gathered, have since contacted the victim’s wife, demanding a ransom of N30 million for his release.

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The Cameraman of the abducted reporter who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the incident and appealed to the abductors to set the colleague free unconditionally.

In the meantime, the Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro Journalists Forum, has condemned the kidnap of Joshua Rogers in strong terms.

The group in a statement signed by its President, Philip Owajioboro Philip, and Secretary, Allwell Ene, on Friday, frowned at the abduction of their colleague, describing it as not only barbaric but also a threat to journalism practice in Nigeria.

The group, however, called on the Nigeria Police and indeed all security agencies to without any delay ensure the release of Joshua Rogers unhurt.

“The Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro Journalists Forum has in strong terms condemned the kidnap of our member, Joshua Rogers.

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“The Forum frowns at and views his abduction as not only barbaric but a threat to journalism practice in Nigeria.”

They added, “We therefore call on the Nigeria Police and indeed all security agencies to without delay ensure the release of our member, Joshua Rogers, unhurt.

“We also urge his abductors to release him unconditionally without any iota of delay.”

 

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CRIME

India-Bound Passenger Ejects, Excretes 80 Wraps Of Ingested Cocaine

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Suspects

Another suspect

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), arrested Freeman Ogbonna, a Delhi, India-bound passenger, at the screening point of Terminal 2 at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos for ingesting 80 wraps of cocaine.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by the anti-narcotics agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, Ogbonna was arrested on March 31st while attempting to board a flight to Delhi, India via Doha on Qatar Airways with a Liberian international passport bearing the name Carr Bismark.

He was taken for a body scan, which tested positive for drug ingestion, and preliminary checks revealed his true identity as Freeman Ogbonna. He was then placed under observation in NDLEA custody, where he began to show signs of discomfort.

According to Babafemi, Ogbonna was choked by the volume of illicit drugs in his stomach and another substance taken to prevent excretion, and he soon began to retch before vomiting and excreting wraps of cocaine he had ingested almost simultaneously.

He said the suspect, who claimed he was recruited into drug trafficking by a relative, eventually passed out 80 wraps of cocaine weighing 889 grammes through his mouth and anus over four days.

Ogbonna was said to have claimed that he was given the drugs to swallow at a hotel in Ikeja’s Ipodo area in exchange for a cash reward of N300,000 if he delivered them successfully.

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According to Babafemi, NDLEA officers at Lagos International Airport intercepted a drug mule, Imran Olalekan, at Gate C of Terminal 1 on his way to Oman with check-in luggage and a backpack last Wednesday. When the operatives thoroughly searched his check-in bag and backpack, they discovered a false bottom concealment of drugs in the check-in luggage and the backpack’s walls.

The NDLEA officers quickly moved in on a man who was accompanying the suspect to the airport. He was later identified as Ishola Olalekan, the person who recruited the trafficker.

Imran Olalekan told NDLEA officers that he returned from Dubai several years ago but still holds a valid residence permit on his old passport. He claimed he was promised N1.5 million if he successfully delivered the consignment in Oman, while his recruiter, Ishola, would be paid N200,000.

Babafemi stated that when the two bags were completely unpacked at the NDLEA office, a charm was discovered in one of the bags and another on the drug mule, who confessed that he travelled to Ibadan, Oyo state, to meet with an ‘Alfa’ who prepared the charm for him to ensure he was not apprehended during the journey.

He also revealed that another charm was discovered on the intermediary, Ishola Olalekan, who accompanied Taofeek to the airport’s departure area. Ishola claimed he obtained the charms for N70,000.

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Last Wednesday, NDLEA agents intercepted 2,144 parcels weighing 1,072 kilogrammes of Colorado, a synthetic strain of cannabis, at Lagos’ Tincan seaport. The seizure occurred during a joint examination with Customs Service and other stakeholders of a container labelled GAOU 6699215 bound for Montreal but originally from Toronto, Canada.

He stated that the drugs, packed in 46 jumbo bags, were discovered hidden in used 2009 Lexus RX 350, 2011 Toyota Sienna, and 2009 Lexus ES 350 vehicles, as well as used engines, automobile doors, tyres, used household goods, and large drums loaded into the container.

In Kano, a 48-year-old suspect, Gidado Sani, who jumped bail granted by a Federal High Court in Kano on drug charges, was re-arrested last Friday in the Sharada area of the state with 85 blocks of cannabis weighing 50.1 kilogrammes, while NDLEA operatives in Ogun state arrested another suspect, Wasiu Jimoh, during a raid operation at Ilese Awo, with 84 parcels (62 kilogrammes) of cannabis sativa.

Operatives in Lagos last Wednesday intercepted a suspect, Emeka Umeh, with 506.2 kilogrammes cannabis at Igbede, Ojo area of the state, while another suspect, Victor Okeke, was nabbed last Friday at Igbo Elerin, Ojo, with 142 grammes of cannabis sativa and 175 litres of skuchies recovered from him, as well as an attempt by 35-year-old Ifeanyi Udogwu to smuggle 1.5 kilogrammes cocaine concealed in music speakers from Lagos through Aba, Abia state to his uncle, Ifeanyi Udogwu base

Meanwhile, commands across the country balanced drug supply reduction efforts with War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy campaigns in schools, markets, motor parks, worship centres, and communities.

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While commending the MMIA, Tincan, Ogun, Kano, and Lagos Commands of the Agency for their efforts over the last week, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd) urged them and their compatriots across the country to remain vigilant and intensify their offensive action against drug cartels, as well as their WADA advocacy campaign in every community nationwide.l

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