Mkpuru Mmiri cook and six others arrested in Imo

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a professional methamphetamine cook (Mkpuru Mmiri), Reuben Bekweri, in Owerri, Imo State capital.

Bekweri, 34, was arrested while trying to distribute a kilogramme of the illicit drug, he cooked and packaged in seven nylon sachets in the Irete area of Imo State capital on Saturday, March 26.

Also, the agency arrested a fleeing drug kingpin heading a syndicate operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos and six other members of his gang.

Spokesperson for the agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement, yesterday, said the arrest followed a string of fresh offensives against drug cartels across Nigeria.

He noted that the Lagos airport drug syndicate was behind the smuggling of 1, 584,000 tablets of tramadol seized on Tuesday, March 15 by NDLEA operatives in collaboration with Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Customs service personnel at the airport.

The seizure includes, 17 cartons of 250mg tramadol branded as “Tamra” weighing 669.70kg and five cartons of 225mg tramadol under the brand name “Royal” with a gross weight of 217.15kg.

Babafemi stressed that the psychotropic substance, which was imported into the country from Pakistan was smuggled through the airport tarmac using one of the vehicles of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) and was intercepted at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Personnel Yard.

According to him, two suspects: Ofijeh John Mowa, a SAHCO driver and Nyam Gazu Alex, who is a security guard with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) were initially arrested in connection with the seizure.

Further investigations by NDLEA operatives, he said, however led to the arrest of five other persons involved in the crime including the ringleader, Yunana Fidelis , who fled Lagos to Kaduna the moment their lid was blown open.

Others are Adesanwo Temitope; Owoseni Taiwo Temidayo; Fasoranti Shola and Bamigbade Jonathan. Fidelis who is also a staff of NACHO had escaped and fled to Kaduna after depositing N19.8 million cash with a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator to be paid later into his bank account.

After tracking him for days in Kaduna, on Friday, March 25, Fidelis relocated to Abuja, where he was eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives at about 7:00p.m. on Sunday, March 27, while he was trying to collect N1 million cash from an undercover agent, who posed as a BDC operator.

In addition to recovering the cash Fidelis deposited with the BDC operator in Lagos, the agency had also placed a post no debit order on his identified bank accounts.

In Ado Ekiti, narcotic officers on Monday, March 28, also arrested a 42-year-old lawyer, Mr. Mayowa Oluwanisomo, in Zone 4, Embassy Island, Moferere area of the Ekiti State capital following credible intelligence that he deals in psychotropic substances.

A total of 11, 570 tablets of tramadol weighing 7.3 kilogrammes were recovered from him when his residence was searched.

The NDLEA spokesperson, said the lawyer admitted ownership of the drug exhibits, adding that he graduated from Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti and Abuja campus of the Nigerian Law School in 2016.
MEANWHILE, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has commended officers and men of MMIA, Imo and Ekiti states Commands for sustaining the offensive action against drug cartels in their respective areas of responsibility.

Mkpuru Mmiri

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