Monday 23 November 2015

NDLEA Foils Export Of N4.6bn Narcotics In Indomie At Apapa Port Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the weekend intercepted a large volume of methamphetamine and ephedrine exports weighing 576 kilogrammes and valued at N4.6billion packed inside noodles, cereals and palm oil billed for South Africa at the Apapa Port.

The NDLEA also arrested a suspect, Mr Tochukwu Harris Ubah, 42, in connection with the drugs, who is believed to be coordinating a large volume of methamphetamine and ephedrine distribution in the country.

The anti-narcotic agency said Ubah who operates with three different names was apprehended at the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport after intense undercover operations in connection with illegal exportation of 576kgs of narcotics to Durban, South Africa through Apapa Port by the Special Enforcement Team (SET) of the NDLEA.

“The drug made up of 266kgs of methamphetamine and 310kgs of ephedrine valued at N4.6 billion were hidden inside noodles, cereals and palm oil.

“Preliminary investigations by the NDLEA revealed that the suspect, Tochukwu Harris Ubah is also known as Etochukwu Alaek Weubah and Eto Ubah. It was gathered that the 42-year-old has a company, Visoch Resources Limited, which he uses as a cover for his clandestine drug business,” the agency said in a statement yesterday.

Although surveillance report indicates that he is a major player in drug smuggling, Tochukwu hides under the cover of floor tile business. Apart from the seized drugs, other items in the consignment included maize, vegetables, palm oil, malt drinks, seasoning, noodles and cereals.

According to SET commander, Mr Sunday Zirangey, the suspected drug kingpin, Tochukwu was arrested at the old local section of the Murtala Muhammed Airport upon arrival from Enugu.

“His arrest took place simultaneously with the interception of the consignment of drugs to South Africa. He was immediately taken to the Apapa Port to witness the search operations. The methamphetamine was hidden inside packs of Golden Morn Cereals and Indomie Noodles while the ephedrine was concealed among gallons of palm oil,” Zirangey stated.

Chairman/chief executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade, described the arrest as another milestone in Nigeria’s fight against narcotics. He also attributed the success of the operation to diligent undercover operations. “This operation has again validated the importance of intelligence gathering and management in drug control. The arrest of Tochukwu is a product of painstaking surveillance and another milestone in the fight against drugs. This seizure is a confirmation that criminal investments will always go down the drain,” Giade said.

The agency said the suspect who hails from Abia State would soon be charged to court.

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