Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Saturday, arrested a wanted drug kingpin in Abia State, South-east Nigeria.
The arrested suspect, Onyeaghalachi Nwagwugwu, was accused of being a major source of illicit drug supplies in South-east and South-south parts of the country.
The NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
Mr Babafemi said the suspect was arrested after nine years of being trailed by the anti-drug agency.
He said the suspect’s elder brother, Eze Kaleb, who is also wanted for similar offence, narrowly escaped during overnight operations carried out by the operatives in collaboration with Nigerian troops.
Apart from Mr Nwagwugwu, one of their militiamen, Eberechi Kingsley, was also arrested during the operations, the NDLEA said.
The NDLEA spokesperson said the operations were conducted in Umuahia and Ntigha Okpuola communities in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of the state, two separate locations, where the suspects reside.
“Investigations show the two notorious brothers began a career in the illicit drug business since the late 90s when they started as pocket dealers before they later established smoking joints/bunks in their community, Ntigha Okpuola and subsequently grew to become barons; owning hotels, houses in choice areas of Abia, Rivers State and Imo State, with exotic cars in their homes,” Mr Babafemi said in the statement.
He said the NDLEA had been on the trail of the suspects since 2013 when they organised a mob attack on some of the agency’s operatives who attempted to apprehend them during a raid in the area.
“At least, one of the officers attacked then is still bedridden till date. The two drug lords equally own armed militia guarding their houses and drug stores, where they deal in assorted illicit substances like Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine (Mpuru-Miri), Loud/Arizona and all sorts,” he said.
Mr Babafemi said fresh bids to arrest the suspects resumed about four months ago.
Sealing of hotels, two mansions
“During the raid, quantities of cocaine and variants of cannabis were recovered from the two houses while the agency has so far sealed two hotels, one eatery, two mansions linked to them and recovered three exotic vehicles from their homes as efforts are ongoing to trace more of their bank accounts and properties,” Mr Babafemi said.
He identified the hotels as Jahlove Hotel, at Mbawsi, a community in Isiala Ngwa North Council Area of Abia State, and Noicyhl Luxury Hotel, along Port-Harcourt Expressway in Aba, the commercial hub of the state.
He also identified the eatery as Royal Cruise Fast Food, along Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway, in the same council area of the state.
The Chairman of the NDLEA, Buba Marwa, has commended the operatives of the agency involved in the operation as well as Nigerian troops who supported them for their professionalism, Mr Babafemi said.
Mr Marwa, a retired brigadier-general, said it is in the interest of the fleeing baron “to turn himself in before the agency smokes him out because there would be no hiding place for him”.
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