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NDLEA dismantles Lagos, Anambra drug labs, arrests barons

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has dismantled two laboratories in Lagos and Anambra states where illicit drugs, including crystal methamphetamine, aka Mkpuru Mmiri, were produced for local distribution and export.

The agency said following the outbreak of crystal methamphetamine abuse in the last quarter of 2021, predominantly in the South East, and the demand for help from many communities in the region, it deployed assets to find the primary source of manufacturing of the drug in the country.

The Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Marwa (retd), during a press conference in Abuja, said efforts in the last seven months against the cartel behind the scourge, led to the arrest of four kingpins and a cook.

He said, “Now, we have added two barons and another cook. This no doubt is a loud statement to those involved in the criminal illicit drug trade that it’s time for them to quit or risk losing it all; that is losing their freedom, investment and assets acquired through proceeds from the illegal business.

“I am pleased to inform the public today that, after months of painstaking intelligence gathering, diligent tracking and coordinated offensive action, we recorded a breakthrough on Saturday, July 30, 2022, when officers and men of the agency successfully busted two methamphetamine manufacturing facilities, called meth laboratories.

“The first one, located in Victoria Garden City Estate of Lekki, Lagos, is owned by a baron, Chris Emeka Nzewi, while the second, in Nise community of Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, was owned by Paul Ozoemenam. The owners of these two illicit meth laboratories were successfully arrested alongside Sunday Ukah from Aba, Abia State, the cook or chemist that produced the drugs for them.

“The laboratory in Lagos was set up inside the Boys’ Quarter building of a four-bedroom duplex. From there, we recovered a total of 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drug. The complete paraphernalia of laboratory equipment such as gas cylinders, giant gas burners, industrial face masks, industrial gloves, tubes and flat-bottomed conical flasks, among others were also found.”

Marwa said the owner of the VGC laboratory was producing the drug where he lived with his family.

“On average, the lab produced 50 kilos of methamphetamine every week with plans underway to increase the capacity of production to at least 100kg per week,” he added.

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