Friday, July 19, 2024

NDLEA Finds Drug Storage Site Protected by Snakes in Edo State

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In recent weeks, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has conducted a series of intensive operations spanning multiple states, revealing the entrenched and resourceful nature of those engaged in illegal drug trafficking. Among the standout discoveries was in Edo State, where NDLEA operatives unearthed a concealed shrine in Igor community, Benin City. This hidden sanctum, guarded by a formidable snake, was ingeniously camouflaged behind wallpaper and adorned with fetish paraphernalia—a surreal convergence of mysticism and criminality.

“The shrine contained a large hole in its walls used to stash various illicit substances, including 8.743kg of methamphetamine and potent strains of cannabis such as Loud, Colorado, and Arizona,” disclosed Femi Babafemi, spokesperson for the NDLEA. This find underscores the extreme lengths traffickers will go to conceal their activities, leveraging both natural and supernatural means to outmaneuver law enforcement.

During the raid, NDLEA agents apprehended Sonia Chinonso Ezumezu and Risikatu Tijani. Their capture coincided with the demobilization of the shrine’s guardian snake, marking a pivotal moment in the agency’s campaign against drug networks operating under the guise of religious or cultural sanctuaries.

In a separate operation within Edo State, NDLEA operatives intercepted Obi Ferguson and Ernest Abanum, seizing 209kg of cannabis in the Usen forest of Ovia South West LGA. This enforcement action highlights the agency’s proactive stance in combating drug trafficking across diverse terrains and locales.

Venturing southwest to Lagos, NDLEA officers intercepted a meticulously concealed consignment of 8.2kg of methamphetamine at a motor park in Mazamaza, Ojo. Disguised within three loudspeakers and concealed in imported chocolate packaging, this seizure illustrates the sophisticated methods used by traffickers to transport highly addictive substances across state borders. The apprehension of Michael Odiomume, 39, who was attempting to transport the contraband to Owerri, underscores the agency’s vigilance and capability to disrupt drug distribution networks at crucial transit points.

Meanwhile, in the federal capital territory of Abuja, NDLEA operatives intercepted a white Nissan Frontier pickup at Kiyi village, Kuje area. Hidden within were 454 compressed blocks of cannabis sativa, totaling 340.8kg. The vehicle was equipped with amber lights and a counterfeit registration number mimicking a security agency’s, revealing traffickers’ audacity in resorting to deceptive tactics to evade scrutiny. The arrest of 76-year-old Francis Omofa, associated with the massive cannabis consignment sourced from Uzeba, Edo State, underscores the enduring allure of illicit drug profits and the multigenerational involvement in this illegal trade.

These operations serve as a stark reminder of the pervasive challenges posed by drug trafficking in Nigeria. From hidden shrines guarded by snakes to sophisticated smuggling techniques in urban centers and remote forests, the NDLEA remains resolute in dismantling drug syndicates and safeguarding communities from the ravages of illicit substances. As investigations progress and prosecutions unfold, NDLEA’s efforts stand as a testament to the ongoing battle against narcotics trafficking, demonstrating the resilience required to protect public health and security.

By relentlessly pursuing traffickers across varied landscapes and employing a mix of traditional policing and cutting-edge intelligence, the NDLEA exemplifies Nigeria’s commitment to combating drug-related crimes. The agency’s successes underscore the importance of international cooperation, technological advancements, and community engagement in the global fight against drug trafficking and abuse.

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