NDLEA Smashes Alleged Drug Cartel In Simultaneous Raids | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NDLEA Smashes Alleged Drug Cartel In Simultaneous Raids

Posted: Mar 15, 2016 at 10:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

*Arrests four Mexicans, four Nigerians


Officials of the Special Enforcement Team (SET) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have smashed an illicit drug laboratory producing methamphetamine, in Asaba, Delta State and arrested four Nigerians and four Mexicans in simultaneous raids on members of the drug syndicate in Lagos, Anambra and Delta States.

It was gathered that the laboratory is similar to the ones earlier discovered in Mexico by that country’s security operatives. Mexico is a major illicit drug country in the world and it is the first to be discovered in the country.
Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive who confirmed the discovery said that the laboratory has a capacity of producing between 3,000kg to 4,000kg of methamphetamine per production cycle.

“A significant feature of this laboratory is that the production process is more technical and sophisticated because it uses the synthesis method of methamphetamine production. All the principal actors linked to this illicit act were apprehended in a simultaneous raid on members of the drug syndicate in Lagos, Obosi in Anambra state and at the laboratory in Asaba, Delta state” Abdallah stated.

The NDLEA boss gave the names of the suspects as Chief Chibi Aruh, William Ejike Agusi, Umolu Kosisochukwu and Umolu Ckukwemeka.    Others are Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno, Rivas Ruiz Pastiano, Castillo Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro.
Abdallah described the operation as technical undercover assignment leading to the dismantling of a drug trafficking organisation.

“In a technical undercover operation, four Mexicans were arrested in active production exercise inside the super laboratory. The cartel first brought two Mexican methamphetamine experts, Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno and Rivas Ruiz Pastiano to Nigeria but because of the size of the laboratory coupled with the volume of work, two additional Mexicans, Castillo Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro were added. Our investigation revealed that a successful test production was done at the laboratory in February 2016”.

The laboratory was raided while the second production cycle was ongoing. Items recovered at the laboratory include 1.5kg of finished methamphetamine and 750 litres of liquid methamphetamine. Other items found in the laboratory include industrial pressure pots, gas cylinders, gas burners, facial masks and numerous chemicals. Also recovered in this operation are Toyota Tundra, Mercedes Benz Jeep ML and a Toyota Corolla car.

The Agency warned that unless drastic measures are taken against this trend; the rise of super laboratories will put Nigeria on the global spotlight in methamphetamine production. “This is because the laboratory operates at an industrial scale with a high yield of 3,000kg to 4,000kgs of methamphetamine per production cycle. Nigeria methamphetamine is now competing with others in Asia and South Africa markets. The super laboratory does not need ephedrine because it uses the synthesis method. Drug cartels are now shifting from simple method of methamphetamine production to a more complex process. The discovery calls for celebration because the operation demonstrates the capacity and preparedness of the agency to track down drug cartels irrespective of their covert mode of operation” he stated.

Experts said that Methamphetamine laboratories, posed a serious threat to humanity because of the toxic nature of chemicals used in its production.

The said that every one pound of methamphetamine produced would account for three to six pounds of toxic waste, which pollutes the environment and contaminates the water table within 500 meters radius from the laboratory.