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NDLEA arrests two wanted drug kingpins for ingesting 175 wraps of heroin




The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has apprehended two wanted drug barons after weeks of intelligence-led operations across the country and beyond.

The drug lords, Hakeem Babatunde Salami, the arrowhead of the “Tajudeen Babatunde Abioye Transnational Criminal Organization,” and Okafor Ikechukwu Williams, were detained on October 5 and 10, according to an NDLEA statement issued on Sunday.

In addition, two more traffickers were apprehended for swallowing 175 wraps of heroin, according to the statement.

The statement read: “Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have taken into custody two wanted heads of transnational criminal organizations with a multi-billion-naira worth of illicit drugs and assets seized from them after weeks of intelligence-led operations across the country and outside Nigeria.

“The arrest of the wanted drug lords came on the heels of the interception of consignments of cocaine and heroin buried in the bellies of two traffickers heading to Paris, France, and Doha, Qatar, by NDLEA officers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja.

“Operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos, on Tuesday, October 10, succeeded in taking into custody Hakeem Babatunde Salami, the arrowhead of the “Tajudeen Babatunde Abioye Transnational Criminal Organization,” involved in the illicit trade of several narcotics, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and ephedrine, between Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Europe.

“He fled Nigeria to South Africa upon the arrest of a syndicate member, Suleiman Babatunde Oba, at the Lagos airport on August 25 over an attempt to export 25.10 kg of ephedrine to South Africa.

“Hakeem Babatunde Salami was, however, smoked out of hiding through a partnership with South African authorities and other intelligence and investigative mechanisms.

“While some of his luxury vehicles have been seized and his home in Surulere, Lagos, sealed, other cartel members already in custody include Suleiman and Godwin Edet Mathew.

“In his statement, he claimed he was into importing building materials from China to Nigeria and used to sell gold in South Africa before delving into the illicit drug trade about two years ago.

“The head of another cartel, Okafor Ikechukwu Williams (aka Jantu), and his wife, Okafor Ifeyinwa Grace, were also taken into custody on Thursday, October 5, when NDLEA operatives raided their hideout at 9 Awa Street, Ago Palace, Okota area of Lagos, where they recovered 27.566 kilogrammes of methamphetamine concealed in a blue box and two sacks, ready for export to Europe and Asia.

“Their Lexus RX350 marked ABJ 512 AY parked in the house was also seized during the operation. Their arrest followed weeks of intelligence gathering about the activities of the criminal network.”

The statement also revealed that another trafficker, Nwafor Charles, was arrested at the Abuja Airport and, after being placed under observation, excreted 75 pellets of cocaine.

“At the Abuja airport, operatives on Friday, October 6th, arrested a drug trafficker, Nwofor Ejiogu Charles, 45, during the outward clearance of Qatar Airways flight QR 1432 to Doha.

“After a body scan revealed he ingested cocaine, he was placed under observation, during which he expelled 75 pellets of cocaine weighing 1.653 kg.

“At the point of his arrest, Nwofor, the last passenger to board his flight, offered to compromise an NDLEA officer with $3,000 to free him.

“The following day, Saturday, October 7, another trafficker, Nwufo Charles Okwudili, 45, was also arrested while attempting to board Lufthansa Airlines flight LH 0595 to Paris, France, via Frankfurt, Germany.

“After being put through the body scanner, he was taken into the recovery room, where he excreted 96 wraps of heroin he ingested with a total weight of 1.413 kg.”

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