NDLEA Arrests 10 Suspected Traffickers With 107kg Of Cocaine, Seizes 11 Motorcycles

The suspects paraded by the NDLEA in Abuja. Credit: NDLEA

 

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 10 suspected online drug traffickers with 107 kilogrammes of cocaine in Abuja, authorities confirmed on Sunday.

In a statement, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the arrest followed fresh raids in the nation’s capital, adding that a young lady and her boyfriend as well as eight others were apprehended, and assorted drugs recovered from them.

The first suspect, 28-year-old Ese Patrick, said to be selling her illicit substances through Instagram account; Ese’sOvenSecret, was tracked and arrested with some pieces of brownies ordered online by NDLEA’s undercover agents, on May 2 and delivered by herself and her boyfriend in a Mercedes Benz car.

“A follow up operation at her residence led to the seizure of 400 grams of Arizona weed, which she uses in baking the brownies,” the statement partly read.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of one Iyama Patrick, with 450 grams of Arizona weed. He supplies Ese the cannabis she uses.”

Similarly, a motorcycle belonging to a courier company, Sky Port was abandoned by a despatch rider in Wuse Zone 4 upon sighting NDLEA’s outpost in the area.

According to the NDLEA spokesman, the motorcycle was later found to contain several pinches of cocaine and some envelopes of Arizona meant for delivery.

In another raid, an online drug trafficker, Peter Nkejika was nabbed on May 24 following an arrest of a dispatch rider with some quantity of Loud, a highly psychoactive variant of cannabis. Each portion of Loud costs N30, 000 and the rider was caught with 17 portions for delivery.

NDLEA operatives had also on Tuesday intercepted two online drug transactions and arrested two dispatch riders with some quantities of cocaine and Loud already packaged for delivery recovered from them.

In all, five dispatch riders and a lady, Dolapo Benjamin who owns motorcycles involved in door-to-door distribution of drugs and drug based edibles; cakes and brownies were arrested while six dispatch motorcycles involved in door-to-door drug distribution were seized.

Also seized from them were assorted drugs; Cocaine, Crack /Challie, Molly/ Ecstasy, Skunk, Brownies and Loud, which is the most expensive psychoactive variant of cannabis in town.

“In a related development, on the 27th May 2021, operatives intercepted 30 compressed parcels of cannabis, heading to Ningi, Bauchi state, as well as Rohypnol and Tramadol meant for the FCT,” the statement added.

“The drugs weighing 105.5 kilograms were seized along Gwagwalada- Abuja road, in a luxury bus. Three persons were arrested in connection with the exhibits, while two more dispatch motorcycles were seized with some quantities of cocaine and cannabis on Saturday, May 29 as the raids across the FCT intensify.

“Meanwhile, operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations (DOGI) of the agency have intercepted 445 grams of Methamphetamine going to New Zealand and concealed inside USB chargers and hair attachments, with another 450 grams of cannabis sativa going to UAE and concealed inside local soap containers at a courier company in Lagos.

“In the same vein, 125 grams of heroin concealed inside academic thesis books was seized at another firm while 2kg of cannabis sativa hidden inside tractor’s balloon was intercepted at another courier company also in Lagos.”

While reacting to the arrests, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) directed the FCT Command of the Agency to immediately embark on stop and search of commercial dispatch riders across the nation’s capital city to curb the online drug trafficking trend in the FCT.

He also commended the FCT Commander of the agency, Mohammed Malami Sokoto, his officers and men for the recent successes and sustaining the offensive against the latest trend in illicit drug trafficking in the nation’s seat of power.

The NDLEA boss also praised officers and men of DOGI for their vigilance and commitment to work.

See photos below: 

 

NDLEA Busts Online Drug Trafficking Cartel, Arrests Five In Abuja

A file photo of an official of the NDLEA backing the camera.

 

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have busted an alleged online drug trafficking cartel that sells drugged cookies, cakes, brownies and all sorts of illicit substances to residents of Abuja.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Sunday by NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, adding that the cartel uses the cyber space as its platform.

“As a result, five members of the organised drug criminal group were arrested during sting operations carried out between Friday 7th May and Saturday 8th May, 2021 by officers of the FCT Command of the Agency during which different brands of illicit drugs were recovered from them,” he said.

The suspects – Queen Nvene, Collins Ozoemena, Samson Peter, Chika Nvene, and Habila Musa – were said to specialise in clandestine production of drug-based cookies, brownies and other edibles; markets and sells same online, through their Twitter and Instagram handles.

They were also accused of selling all types of marijuana, Arizona, Colorado and Loud, among other illicit drugs, online.

The statement added, “While Queen Nvene, a graduate of Business Administration, produces drug cookies and brownies and sells same on Instagram, Collins Ozoemena sells all types of illicit drugs, especially Loud and skunk online.

“Samson Peter on the other hand, is the manager of SK express courier company, who manages motorcycles and dispatch riders to deliver illicit drugs from Collins and drugged edibles (cookies, cakes and brownies) from Queen and Chika, both sisters. Members of the cartel operate from different locations within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, but operate as a network.

“Their arrest followed online orders of drug-based edibles by undercover agents. Supplies of brownies and cookies were delivered and received from different SK Express dispatch riders at various times by narcotic operatives before the final sting operation.”

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According to the Commander, FCT Command of the Agency, Mohammed Malami Sokoto, follow up raids of their various locations in Gudu, Kubwa, Lokogoma, Apo and Damangazo all in Abuja, led to the seizure of some illicit substances.

Items recovered from the suspects included 55 pieces of drugged cookies and brownies, 1.3 kilogrammes of skunk used as ingredient for making cookies and brownies, 0.9 grammes of ecstasy, popularly called molley, 300 grammes of skunk, 00 grammes of Loud and 300 grammes of skunk.

Other items recovered from the syndicate include: a dispatch motorcycle, various equipment for producing cookies and brownies, 10 telephone handsets and two laptops used for online drug trafficking transactions.

NDLEA said the suspects confessed to have a large platform of customers who order for drugs and drug-based cookies, brownies and edibles, on daily basis for parties and ceremonies, in and outside Abuja.

They said they use the manager of SK Express courier company to deliver their products through motorcycle riders and power bikers popularly called droppers.

They further claimed they have been in the business for over three years.

Similarly, NDLEA operatives intercepted and seized 60kilogrammes of cannabis in Akure-South Local Government Area, leading to the arrest of a 29-year-old man, Emmanuel Utaji.

Acting Commander of the Agency in the state, Callys Alumona disclosed that the location was raided at about 9:45pm following intelligence, adding that the suspect was apprehended when the consignment was to be evacuated and taken outside the state.

Also in Rivers State, a suspected drug dealer and armed robber, Sanusi Abdullahi was nabbed by operatives of the agency at Iroko village, where 15.8 kilogrammes of skunk and 16 sim cards were recovered from him on Saturday.

NDLEA Rivers State Commander, Rachael Shelleng, stated that further investigation would unravel other criminal activities perpetrated by the suspect.

Reacting to the development, NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the FCT, Ondo and Rivers Commands of the Agency and charged them not to rest on their oars.

He said, “I’m particularly impressed with the speed with which the officers of our FCT Command disrupted the online drug trafficking cartel that has been ravaging the nation’s capital for over three years and I must commend them and their counterparts in Ondo and Rivers for their recent feats.”

NSCDC Arrests High-Profile Kidnapper In Taraba

 

A suspected high-profile kidnap kingpin Mohammed Gidado who has been on the watch list of security agencies in Taraba State for years has been arrested.

The arrest was made possible by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) through intensive intelligence gathering, surveillance and smart operation of officers of the state command.

He was arrested on March 28 in Jebjeb community of Karim Lamido Local Government Area of Taraba State.

The suspect was said to have attempted to commit suicide by slitting his throat but was quickly attended to and his life saved.

Parading the suspect before journalists on Thursday in Jalingo, the State Commandant of the NSCDC, Muhammed Waksha disclosed that the suspect alongside his gang members create roadblocks along the borders of Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe states where they intercept travellers and kidnap them.

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“We arrested Mohammed Gidado on the 28th of March 2021 in Jebjeb community of Karim Lamido local government area of Taraba state, it is a border community with Plateau State,” Waksha said.

“This is the area they have been causing mayhem to transporters and residents through robbery, kidnapping and cattle rustling.

“He has been in our wanted lists for so long, so, when we got him, we drove all through the night and day.

“We arrived at the state command office at about 9:00 am and while trying to enter the suspect used a sharp metal he saw in the vehicle to slash his throat and luckily we rushed him to the hospital and his life was saved.”

The suspects being paraded at the NSCDC headquarters in Jalingo on April 8, 2021.

The commandant said investigation to unravel more of the suspects is still on, adding that no culprit will escape.

While insisting that the tides of kidnappings are going down in the state with the arrest and prosecution of culprits, Waksha said the relationship with other sister security agencies is cordial and well-coordinated.

He called on residents of the state to go about their lawful businesses without any fear and should they encounter any strange happenings, let them report immediately to any security outfit close by for prompt action.

The command also succeeded in recovering stolen items from some buglers who sighted them and abandoned the properties during a night patrol.

The suspects all confessed to have committed the crimes they were arrested for and pleaded for mercy.

According to the commandant, none of the fleeing gang members will escape its dragnet as it has been spread across the state and the nation to get them wherever they are.

The suspect Mohammed Gidado blamed the devil for luring him to engage in such act.

“We kidnap and rob people of their belongings in a border community between plateau and Taraba states more often,” the suspect said.

“We are many and I heard some of our gang members were killed in a gun duel with security agencies.

“My intention to commit suicide was to avoid been further interrogated. The last set of people we kidnapped, we made a total of five hundred thousand naira from them.”

Also paraded were four others who also specialised in kidnappings, cattle rustling and armed robbery.

Protester Killed, Dozens Arrested In Belarus Unrest – Rights Group

A collage of various scenes from the protest in Belarus.

 

A protester was killed and dozens wounded when police in Belarus used stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse demonstrators disputing election results, a prominent rights group said on Monday.

The Viasna Human Rights Centre said the young male protester suffered a traumatic head injury when he was hit by a police vehicle and medics were unable to save him.

Viasna representative Sergey Sys told AFP that more than 300 people had been arrested on Sunday, including more than 150 in the capital Minsk.

“Dozens of people were wounded as a result of clashes with law enforcement agencies. Ten of them were taken to hospitals,” he said.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova denied there had been any deaths.

“We have no dead,” she told AFP.

More than 200 detained

At least 213 people were detained in Belarus as police cracked down on protesters claiming strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko rigged Sunday’s presidential election, a prominent rights group said on Monday.

The Viasna Human Rights Centre said at least 110 people were detained in the capital Minsk, including at least 40 at or near polling stations and 70 during a pro-opposition protest. Others were detained in various cities.

People hold up Belarusian passports as they protest outside the Belarusian embassy after polls closed in Belarus’ presidential election, in Moscow on August 9, 2020. – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was set for an overwhelming victory in a presidential election on August 9, an official exit poll said, after a political newcomer mounted a historic challenge to the strongman leader. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)
Riot police detain opposition supporters during a protest after polls closed in the presidential election, in Minsk on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Sergei GAPON / AFP)
An injured man lies on the ground during clashes between opposition supporters and riot police after polls closed in Belarus’ presidential election, in Minsk on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Siarhei LESKIEC / AFP)
Riot police disperse protesters after polls closed in the presidential election, in Minsk on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Siarhei LESKIEC / AFP)
An injured man receives medical help during clashes between opposition supporters and riot police after polls closed in Belarus’ presidential election, in Minsk on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Siarhei LESKIEC / AFP)
Riot police detain a demonstrator during a protest after polls closed in Belarus’ presidential election, in Minsk on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Sergei GAPON / AFP)

30 People Arrested During Catalan Protests

People wave Spanish flags and a giant banner reading “Today as yesterday, Catalans and Spaniards” during a demonstration for the unity of Spain marking the Spanish National Day in Barcelona on October 12, 2019. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Police in Spain said Wednesday they arrested 30 people overnight across Catalonia for their roles in clashes with police during protests over the jailing of nine separatist leader over a failed 2017 independence bid.

Pro-independence groups staged sit-ins outside Spanish government offices in a number of Catalan cities late Tuesday, with around 40,000 people taking part in Barcelona and 9,000 in the separatist stronghold of Girona, according to municipal and regional police.

The protests ended in clashes with police in many cities.

In Barcelona, police charged hundreds of masked demonstrators who threw projectiles at officers and set garbage containers and cardboard boxes on fire.

Catalonia’s regional police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, said 14 people were arrested in the port of Tarragona, six in Barcelona and ten others in other Catalan cities for disobeying authority and causing a disturbance.

Monday’s ruling unleashed a wave of protests, with Catalan separatists enraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to hand heavy prison sentences of between nine and 13 years to leaders convicted of sedition over the 2017 separatist push.

That culminated in a banned independence referendum and short-lived declaration of independence in October of the same year.

Turkey Arrests Online Critics Of Syria Operation

 

Turkish police arrested more than 20 people on charges of “terrorist propaganda” on Thursday over their criticism of a military offensive launched against Kurdish forces in Syria.

The head of opposition news site Birgun, Hakan Demir, was detained for “inciting the people to hatred and enmity” after it reported there had been civilian casualties in the offensive, which was launched on Wednesday.

The government denied civilians had been hurt in its strikes on Kurdish militant positions in northern Syria.

Demir was later released but had his passport confiscated.

Police arrested 21 people in the Kurdish-majority city of Mardin in southeastern Turkey for “terrorist propaganda”, according to state news agency Anadolu.

They had already announced that 78 cases had been opened against individuals nationwide.

Meanwhile, Ankara’s chief prosecutor said cases had also been opened against the leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Sezai Temelli and Pervin Buldan, and other members of the party.

They had described the military operation as “an invasion” in a statement, and Temelli maintained his position on Thursday, saying it was an act of “aggression” and “attempted occupation”.

Turkey launched “Operation Peace Spring” on Wednesday against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which it considers a “terrorist” offshoot of Kurdish insurgents in its own territory.

Criticism of military operations in Turkey is fiercely taboo, with even opposition parties required to praise them.

Turkey arrested online critics during previous offensives against Kurdish forces in Syria, accusing them of “terrorist propaganda”.

Rights groups criticise the erosion of free speech under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, particularly in the wake of a failed coup in 2016 which was followed by tens of thousands of arrests of political opponents.

AFP

Two Arrested Over London Airport Drone Chaos

The control tower at Gatwick Airport in Sussex. Gatwick, one of Britain’s busiest airports was forced to suspend all flights after reports of drones flying over the airfield, causing disruption for at least 10,000 people just days before Christmas, it said on December 20, 2018.
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Two people have been arrested in connection with the “criminal use of drones” at London’s Gatwick Airport, police said Saturday, after three days of disruption affected tens of thousands of passengers during the pre-Christmas getaway. 

Drones were first sighted buzzing around Britain’s second-busiest air hub on Wednesday, forcing the runway to close and causing chaos for more than 140,000 people.

“As part of our ongoing investigations into the criminal use of drones which has severely disrupted flights in and out of Gatwick Airport, Sussex Police made two arrests just after 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) on December 21,” the force’s Superintendent James Collis said.

“Every line of inquiry will remain open to us until we are confident that we have mitigated further threats to the safety of passengers.”

A Gatwick spokesman said the airport planned to run a full schedule of 757 flights carrying 124,484 passengers on Saturday.

But he warned that passengers should expect some delays and cancellations “as we continue to recover our operations following three days of disruption”.

Police urged passengers and the public to remain vigilant around the airport, south of London, and report any further drone sightings.

Flights resumed on Friday but were briefly halted after a new drone sighting forced planes to be grounded as a precautionary measure.

Sussex Police said officers had been using “a range of tactics” to hunt for the mystery drone operators and “build resilience to detect and mitigate further incursions”.

The dangers posed by drones include the possibility of a device smashing into a passenger plane or being sucked up into an engine where its highly flammable lithium battery could cause a catastrophe.

 Widespread disruption 

The army was called in on Thursday to offer support, with the defence ministry deploying what was described only as specialist equipment.

“There are a range of measures which are there today which should give passengers confidence that they are safe to fly,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told the BBC on Friday.

Government officials held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

The Times newspaper Saturday reported Grayling had shelved plans earlier this year to introduce laws regulating drone use despite being warned about the risk they posed to airports.

“We were promised new legislation back in 2017,” Andy McDonald, the main Labour Party’s transport spokesman, told BBC radio.

“There’s been a lack of attention to this.”

Aviation minister Elizabeth Sugg said the government planned to “introduce new laws to ensure that drones are used safely and responsibly”, according to The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Under a new British law, drones cannot be flown near aircraft or within a kilometer (about half a mile) of an airport, or at an altitude of over 400 feet (122 meters).

Violators face up to five years in prison for endangering an aircraft.

 Cat and mouse chase 

There had been more than 50 sightings of the device or devices since the first reports at 9:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Wednesday and shooting down the drone had been considered as an option.

Justin Burtenshaw, head of armed policing for Sussex and Surrey said on Thursday: “Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears. When we look to reopen the airfield the drone reappears.”

Before Friday’s sighting at 5:10 pm (1710 GMT), a drone had last been spotted at around 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) on Thursday.

Mike, from London, had his flight cancelled on Friday and will miss his connection to Ghana.

“We’re in limbo. We don’t actually know when we’ll be flying out at all because we haven’t been promised a rescheduled flight, we haven’t been promised any further information, any compensation. Nothing at all.”

Darcis, 32, who was supposed to arrive from Milan on Thursday and had to sleep at the airport, said: “I cannot understand why such a small thing can cause an international airport like Gatwick (to close). They should be ready for these things. I really don’t understand what we can do.”

Gatwick, around 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of the British capital, is the eighth-busiest airport in Europe and sits behind Mumbai as the world’s busiest single-runway air hub.

AFP

China Arrests 15 For Vaccine Fraud

 

Chinese authorities have arrested 15 people including the chairwoman of a rabies vaccine producer under fire for fraudulent quality control in the country’s latest drug-safety scandal.

News that pharmaceutical manufacturer Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology had fabricated records and was ordered to cease production of rabies vaccines has revived deep consumer unease over product safety in the country, fuelled by recurring scandals over the years.

Authorities in the northeastern city of Changchun, where the company is based, have arrested 15 people including the company’s chairwoman on “suspicion of criminal offences”, city police announced late on Tuesday.

The announcement did not give the chairwoman’s full name but she has previously been identified as Gao Junfang.

The affair has shattered already fragile trust in regulators and spotlighted the frustrations of China’s increasingly sophisticated consumers, who took to social media en masse to vent their anger over the case.

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) said last week the problematic rabies vaccine had not left Changsheng’s factory, but the company admitted it had shipped a separate sub-standard vaccine.

That vaccine for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus was found by regulators to fail quality standards, but the company revealed that it sold 250,000 doses to Shandong province last year.

The problems have rekindled already deep fears over domestically made medicines and driven worried parents online to swap information on obtaining imported vaccines.

Authorities have announced a series of investigations and vowed that heads would roll.

In a sign of the high-level unease, President Xi Jinping — on a trip to Africa — weighed in on Monday, calling the vaccine company’s actions “vile in nature and shocking”, according to state media.

AFP

4 Suspected Terrorists Killed In JTF Raid

Four suspected terrorists have been confirmed dead while others were arrested in a raid carried out by the JTF at Gayawa village of Ungogo Local Government Area of Kano state, North West Nigeria. 

Residents told Channels Television that sporadic gunshots and several explosions were heard around the area in the early hours of Tuesday.

They also reported that they saw soldiers evacuating four lifeless bodies believed to be of the dead terrorists into their vehicle.

Residents said that movement had been restricted since the early hours of the day, as the Joint Task Force, JTF, troop had cordoned off the entire area.

Although the JTF has not commented on the issue, residents told Channels Television’s correspondent that two Soldiers may have died during the operation.