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NDLEA burns cocaine worth N194bn recovered in Lagos warehouse

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) destroyed 1.8 tons of cocaine recovered by its personnel from a warehouse in the Ikorodu area of Lagos…

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) destroyed 1.8 tons of cocaine recovered by its personnel from a warehouse in the Ikorodu area of Lagos last week.

Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement Tuesday, recalled that the NDLEA had in a well-coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days last week stormed a hidden warehouse at 6 Olukunola street, Solebo estate Ikorodu, Lagos State where 1.8 tons of cocaine were recovered and five suspects including a Jamaican were arrested.

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“Following the historical seizure, which is the largest in the Agency’s history, an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos was obtained for the public destruction of the consignment.

Speaking at the venue of the public destruction of the cocaine haul, Marwa, represented by the agency’s Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Deputy Commander General of Narcotics (DCGN) Sunday Joseph, said the sheer volume of the drug haul, with street value put at $278, 250,000, equivalent to N194, 775,000,000, speaks volume about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld.

He said this has made it imperative for Nigerians to continue to support NDLEA in the renewed war against illicit drugs.

According to him, out of the 1.8-ton seizure, 1,828 blocks of the cocaine will be crushed and set ablaze while the remnant will be secured for purpose of prosecution of the suspects who were brought to witness the procedure and sign the certificate of destruction.

“The Agency is proceeding with the prosecution of those arrested in connection with this consignment. On this, the public can rest assured that NDLEA shall pursue the trial to a logical conclusion.

“Since January 25, 2021, when we commenced our offensive action against drug traffickers, the agency has secured record convictions. Presently, 2, 904 drug offenders are serving various jail terms, while other cases are ongoing in court, which we are confident will end in positive results too.

He continued, “The bust of the syndicate responsible for the cocaine warehoused in Ikorodu is a message to drug cartels that their investments in the illicit drug trade will go up in flames, while they also risk losing their freedom because the present NDLEA is committed to arresting, prosecuting and ensuring the conviction of those involved in illicit drugs. That is not all, we now also go after their assets acquired with the proceeds of the criminal trade.”

Marwa said that the fact that the Ikorodu operation was conducted clinically without any skirmish or bloodshed is further testimony to the evolution of the NDLEA and its new capabilities and a pointer to the fact that the game has changed in the war against illicit drugs.

He commended the agency’s international partners, especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA) that supported the cocaine syndicate bust; the Nigerian military that provided additional firepower during the operation, and other law enforcement agencies that have been supporting efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.

While soliciting more support for the agency’s work, Marwa said, “The safety of our society is the responsibility of every one of us and every citizen shall be fulfilling his or her civic duty by assisting the Agency to clean up our communities and cities by joining our War Against Drug Abuse (WADA), together, we can make this country secure.”