Home » NDLEA arrests 2 Drug Kingpins, 2 Traffickers with Heroin Wraps

NDLEA arrests 2 Drug Kingpins, 2 Traffickers with Heroin Wraps

by Victor Adetimilehin

In a remarkable coup, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has captured two elusive leaders of transnational criminal networks. This high-stakes operation led to the seizure of illicit drugs and substantial assets with a multi-billion-naira value.


The breakthrough came after meticulous intelligence-driven efforts, both within Nigeria and abroad. In a pivotal moment, the NDLEA intercepted consignments of cocaine and heroin ingeniously concealed within the bodies of two drug traffickers, bound for Paris, France, and Doha, Qatar, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.


Femi Babafemi, the Director of Media and Advocacy at the NDLEA, revealed that Hakeem Babatunde Salami, the linchpin of the ‘Tajudeen Babatunde Abioye Transnational Criminal Organization,’ was apprehended at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. This criminal network was involved in the illicit trade of a wide array of narcotics, including Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, and Ephedrine, facilitating illegal transactions between Nigeria and various countries, such as Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Europe.


Hakeem Salami had evaded capture by fleeing to South Africa after a member of his syndicate, Suleiman Babatunde Oba, was arrested at Lagos Airport for attempting to export 25.10 kilograms of ephedrine to South Africa on August 25.  However, through collaborative efforts with South African authorities and sophisticated intelligence mechanisms, Salami was tracked down and arrested. As part of the operation, his luxury vehicles were seized, and his residence in Surulere, Lagos, was sealed. Other members of the cartel currently in custody include Suleiman and Godwin Edet Mathew.


In his statement, Salami claimed he had initially been involved in the importation of building materials from China to Nigeria and had a history of selling gold in South Africa. His entry into the illicit drug trade occurred roughly two years ago.


The operation also targeted another criminal network, with the capture of Okafor Ikechukwu Williams (aka Jantu) and his wife, Okafor Ifeyinwa Grace. The couple was apprehended when NDLEA operatives raided their hideout in Lagos, where they discovered 27.566 kilograms of methamphetamine, concealed in a blue box and two sacks. 


At the Abuja airport, further success awaited as a drug trafficker, Nwofor Ejiogu Charles, aged 45, was arrested while attempting to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha. A body scan revealed that he had ingested cocaine, and subsequent observation led to the excretion of 75 cocaine pellets, weighing 1.653 kilograms. In a desperate move, Nwofor offered an NDLEA officer $3,000 in an attempt to secure his release.


The following day, another trafficker, Nwufo Charles Okwudili, aged 45, was arrested while trying to board a Lufthansa Airlines flight to Paris, France, via Frankfurt, Germany. After a body scan, he was taken to a recovery room, where he excreted 96 wraps of heroin, weighing a total of 1.413 kilograms.


These remarkable operations underscore the NDLEA’s commitment to eradicating drug-related criminal activities, safeguarding communities, and contributing to the global fight against the illicit drug trade.


Source: [Vanguard]

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