NDLEA arrests drug barons and confiscates assets
By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
Agents of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested two wanted leaders of international criminal organizations, Okafor Williams and Hakeem Salami. Their illegal drugs and multi-billion dollar assets were seized after weeks of nationwide intelligence operations. outside Nigeria.
The two drug lords were caught after NDLEA operatives intercepted consignments of cocaine and heroin buried in the bellies of their traffickers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The agency’s director of media and advocacy, Femi Babafemi, said in a statement on Sunday that Salami was tracked to his hideout in South Africa after a member of his syndicate was arrested in August.
He added that Williams was arrested with his wife Grace at their hideout in Okota area of Lagos State.
The statement read in part: “Operations at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos on Tuesday, 2023. on October 10, succeeded in capturing Hakeem Salami, the arrowhead of the transnational criminal organization Tajudeen Babatunde Abioye, who was involved in the murder. illegal trade. various drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and ephedrine, between Nigeria, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique and Europe. “He fled Nigeria to South Africa after the 2023 August 25 A member of his syndicate, Suleiman Oba, was arrested at the Lagos airport for attempting to export 25.10 kg of ephedrine to South Africa.
“However, Hakeem Salami was brought forward in cooperation with the South African authorities and other investigative and intelligence mechanisms.”
“While some of his luxury vehicles have been impounded and his Surulere Lagos house sealed, other cartel members already arrested include Suleiman and Godwin Edet Mathew. In his statement, he said he was involved in importing construction materials from China to Nigeria and selling gold in South Africa, before he started illegal drug trafficking about two years ago.
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Babafemi said another cartel leader Williams (aka Jantu) and his wife Grace were also arrested in 2023. on Thursday, October 5, when NDLEA operatives raided their hideout at 9 Awa Street, Ago Palace, Okota District. in Lagos where they found 27,566kg of methamphetamine hidden in a blue box and two bags ready for export to Europe and Asia.
During the operation, their car “Lexus RX350″, marked ABJ 512 AY, which was parked near the house, was also taken. They were arrested after weeks of gathering information about the activities of the criminal network,” he added.
The statement also revealed that another drug dealer, Nwofor Charles, 45, was arrested on October 6. during customs clearance for Qatar Airways flight QR 1432 to Doha.
After a body scan showed he had taken cocaine, he was put under surveillance during which he expelled 75 pellets of cocaine weighing 1,653kg.
Nwofor, the last passenger on his flight, also offered to compromise the NDLEA official with $3,000 to free him.