NDLEA Arrests Indian Businessman Over 134,700 Bottles Of Codeine Smuggled Into Nigeria

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vyapak Nutal, an Indian businessman, has been taken into custody for interrogation by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over the smuggling of 134,700 bottles of Codeine syrup into the country through the land border between Nigeria and Niger Republic in Sokoto State.

This was disclosed in a statement by Femi Babafemi, Director of Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA.

The suspect had loaded the consignment into trucks in Cotonou, Benin Republic, and driven through the land borders via Niger Republic before entering Sokoto State at the Illela border.

Settled in a hotel in Sokoto, credible intelligence revealed that Nutal began to look for buyers for the controlled drug.

While operatives were on his trail, officers of the Department of State Security were able to apprehend him and swiftly handed him over to NDLEA on Wednesday, February 20, 2022.

In a related development, attempts by drug traffickers to export large quantities of Heroin, Methamphetamine, Khat, Tramadol and Cannabis through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, as well as three courier companies in the city have been frustrated by narcotic officers, who intercepted the illicit consignments.

At the Lagos airport, operatives on Tuesday arrested one Felix Rotimi Eshemokhai with 1.75kg heroin while trying to board Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca, Morocco, while another trafficker, Okafor Emmanuel Onuzuruike, was also nabbed on the same day during his bid to travel on RwandAir to Dubai with 2.2kg of Cannabis concealed in foodstuff.

No less than 25 kilogrammes of Methamphetamine, Tramadol, Cannabis and Khat concealed in motor parts, MP3 player, speaker and fabrics heading to USA, UK, Australia, Dubai and Madagascar were seized at three major courier companies in Lagos.

In Gombe State, 31,000 capsules of Tramadol were recovered from a truck that left Onitsha, Anambra State for Mubi, Adamawa State, and the owner, Ibrahim Tukur Bage, was arrested on Friday while attempting to escape.

This followed the arrest of Aliu Salami, 43, with 143.9kg Cannabis at Oke-Ata, Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State on Wednesday.

Also, a trans-border drug dealer, Shu’aibu Salisu, and his gang were arrested as their consignment of 578kg of Cannabis meant for Niger Republic was intercepted in Kwara State on February 8 when two persons Gambo Lawal and Ibrahim Mohammed were arrested while conveying the drug to someone in Charanchi, Katsina State.

A follow-up operation led to the arrest of Salisu and two others namely Sani Musa and Auwal Amina the day after at different locations within Kaita LGA of Katsina.

In Benue State, a fake security agent, Mr Dennis Emadiong, was on Saturday arrested at NDLEA checkpoint with 239g of Cannabis and 10 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition while on his way from Akwa Ibom to Maiduguri, Borno State.

Another suspect, Stephen Folorunsho was also nabbed during a routine stop and search operation along Apir-Makurdi Road with 147 compressed blocks of Cannabis weighing 130kg stuffed inside bales of used clothes, popularly called Okrika on his way to Gombe State.

In Adamawa State, no fewer than 22,700 tablets of Tramadol and Exol-5 were seized in Numan area of the state from two drug dealers including Mmaduabuchibeya Kingsley and Onyeke Kenneth in separate raids on Thursday.

While commending officers and men of Sokoto, Gombe, Ogun, Kwara, Adamawa, Benue, MMIA commands as well as those of the Directorate of Operation and General Investigation for their resilience in the various drug supply reduction efforts, NDLEA boss, Mohammed Marwa, charged them and their compatriots across other commands to remain on the offensive against the cartels.

He hailed the synergy and support from other security agencies.