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NDLEA arrests wanted drug baron in village mansion

....recovers meth, precursors, guns


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In a major breakthrough in the war against illicit drugs, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has successfully dismantled a major drug cartel behind the production and distribution of methamphetamine, commonly known as ‘mkpuru mmiri‘ during a sting operation in the State.

During the operation, the cartel’s leader, Mr Joachin Chikaodi Mbonu, 42, and his associate in his mansion located in Umuomi village, Uzogba-Ezenomi autonomous community, Ikeduru local government area of the State were arrested.

This was disclosed in a statement by the spokesman of the anti-narcotic agency, Femi Babafemi.

Femi said that the cartel with operational bases in Imo and Rivers state became a target of the agency following intelligence indicating it is behind the distribution of substantial quantities 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 image maker of the NDLEA further revealed that 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.

According to Femi, operatives of the agency 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.

‘’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.” Babefmi said.

However, reacting to the successful dismantling of the meth syndicate, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) commended the officers and men involved in the multi-pronged operation, stating that how the interdiction was carried out should send a strong signal to other cartels that there’s no hiding place for them in any part of the country.



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