The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested seven members of an airport drug gang and recovered N19.8 million in cash from the ringleader.

A fleeing drug kingpin who ran a syndicate operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos, and six other members of his gang were arrested as part of a wave of new anti-drug cartel operations across Nigeria.

The Lagos airport drug syndicate was behind the smuggling of 1, 584,000 Tramadol tablets seized on Tuesday 15th March by NDLEA operatives in collaboration with Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Customs service personnel at the airport, according to Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, in a statement on Wednesday, March 30.

17 cartons of 250mg Tramadol labeled as “Tamra” weighing 669.70kg and five cartons of 225mg Tramadol branded as “Royal” worth 217.15kg are among the items seized.

The psychoactive material, which was imported from Pakistan, was smuggled through the airport tarmac by one of Skyway Aviation Handling Company’s (SAHCO) vehicles and intercepted at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) Personnel Yard.

Initially, two individuals were arrested in connection with the seizure: Ofijeh John Mowa, a SAHCO driver, and Nyam Gazu Alex, a security guard of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO).

Further investigations by NDLEA operatives however led to the arrest of five other persons involved in the crime including the ringleader, Yunana Fidelis who fled Lagos to Kaduna the moment their lid was blown open. Others include: Adesanwo Temitope; Owoseni Taiwo Temidayo; Fasoranti Shola and Bamigbade Jonathan.

Yunana Fidelis who is also a staff of NACHO had escaped and fled to Kaduna after depositing Nineteen Million Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N19, 800,000.00) cash with a BDC operator to be paid later into his bank account.

After tracking him for days in Kaduna, on Friday 25th Fidelis relocated to Abuja where he was eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives at 7pm on Sunday 27th March while he was trying to collect One Million Naira (N1, 000, 000.00) cash from an undercover agent who posed as a BDC operator.

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