The chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade, on Tuesday said the agency had discovered a secret laboratory, installed for the illegal production of methamphetamine– a hard drug.
Mr. Giade, who disclosed this in Lagos at a news briefing on the success recorded by the agency in the last few weeks, added that three Bolivians and one Nigerian had been arrested in connection with the laboratory.
Those arrested include Yerko Artunduaga Dorado, 19; Rueben Ticona Jorge, 21; Hugo Chavez Moreno, 39 and Ubachukwu Collins, 23.
According to Mr. Giade, the laboratory was discovered on February 3 by operatives of the Lagos State command of the agency, at Daily Times Estate, Satellite Town.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a similar laboratory was discovered in August, 2010 in the same area, where three Nigerians were arrested and are currently being prosecuted.
Mr. Giade said the suspects had been using two buildings to carry out the illegal business for about eight months, before it was discovered.
He disclosed that 41.150kg of ephedrine, 4.8kg of methamphetamine, three vehicles and some chemicals were recovered from the building.
He said that the building and items recovered had been impounded and that investigations are ongoing, with a view to ascertaining any link with those arrested with those arrested in a similar laboratory in 2011.
Mr. Giade said that the drug was mainly meant for export, noting, however, that there might be an insignificant local abuse.
“Small amount of methamphetamine abuse can cause increased wakefulness, decreased appetite, irregular heart beat and cardiovascular collapse.
“It can cause violent behavior and homicidal or suicide thoughts,” he said.
He said that those arrested would be charged to court, and if convicted, the foreigners would be deported to their country.
Mr. Giade called on members of the public to be vigilant in their areas, so as to detect such laboratories, which he described as threats to societal peace and security.
He warned landlords not to allow their buildings to be used for such illegal activities, stressing that such buildings would not be safe for habitation.
“Besides the environmental pollution, gullible and unemployed youths are being used to smuggle these drugs to countries with high demand.
“Several methamphetamine traffickers have been caught at the airports and land borders.
“On our part, we shall continue to work tirelessly until all such laboratories are discovered and the culprits brought to justice.
“We are determined to tackle this ugly development in the country through intense surveillance,” he said.