Northern Nigerian Breaking News

NDLEA arrests wanted drug baron in village, recovers meth, precursors, guns

A major drug cartel behind the production and distribution of deadly psychoactive substance, methamphetamine, popularly called ‘mkpuru mmiri’ has been taken down by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.

SolaceBase reports that the cartel was busted following the arrest of the leader of the syndicate, 42-year-old Joachin Chikaodi Mbonu and his associate at his mansion tucked in his Umuomi village, Uzogba-Ezenomi autonomous community, Ikeduru local government area of Imo State.

A statement issued by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Tuesday, said the cartel with operational bases in Imo and Rivers state became a target of the Agency following intelligence indicating it is responsible for the distribution of a substantial quantity of methamphetamine in South East, South South and other parts of the country.

‘’After weeks of surveillance, officers of a special operations unit of the Agency on Friday 5th July 2024, tracked and traced the drug lord to his village mansion in Imo state where he was caught with a member of his cartel, Kenneth Chibuike Ofoegbu, 34, with different quantities of methamphetamine, its precursor chemicals, a pump action gun and cartridges recovered, the statement said.

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‘’Exhibits recovered from the house include 419.99 grams of methamphetamine; 750 grams of iodine, a precursor chemical for meth; 500 grams of sodium bicarbonate, a precursor chemical for meth; two electronic weighing scales and a pump action gun with four cartridges.

‘’The operatives moved swiftly to another of Mbonu’s hideouts located at 11 Redemption Avenue, Port Harcourt, Rivers state where they recovered additional exhibits: 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate; 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate and 75 grams of meth.

‘’Another raid in the home of one of Mbonu’s associates, Odoemenam Pedro Chinedu, currently at large, at Njaba LGA, Imo state, led to the recovery of another pump action gun with 25 cartridges, among other items. While the kingpin cools his heels in custody, two of his mansions in Imo state have been marked for possible forfeiture to the federal government.

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‘’Mbonu had escaped from South Africa where he lived for years and mastered the art of cooking methamphetamine after he came under investigation for drug dealings. Upon his return to Nigeria, he continued the criminal trade by setting up clandestine laboratories in remote villages to shield his nefarious activities.

 

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