NDLEA Issues Warrant for Arrest of Nigeria-Based Couple in India

NDLEA Issues Warrant for Arrest of Nigeria-Based Couple in India

by Joseph Anthony
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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has declared a couple, Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade and Rashidat Ayinke Owoalade, wanted for operating a cocaine cartel from India. The announcement came after four members of the syndicate were arrested in Lagos, where a Sports Utility Vehicle was recovered, and two houses traced to the couple were sealed for forfeiture to the Federal Government.

In a statement issued on Sunday, NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi disclosed that the arrests followed a five-week surveillance operation. On April 3, 2024, two members of the syndicate, Imran Taofeek Olalekan and Ishola Isiaka Olalekan, were apprehended while attempting to export 3.40 kg of cocaine to Oman via a Qatar Airlines flight at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. Imran was identified as the courier, and Ishola was responsible for recruiting him for the head of the cartel, Alhaji Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade, who operates under the alias Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun in India.

Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of another syndicate member, Hamed Abimbola Saheed, on May 14, 2024, in Abule Egba, Lagos. Saheed was found in possession of 900 grams of phenacetine, a cocaine cutting agent, and admitted that the substance was part of the consignment intended for Oman. Further operations at the Owoalade couple’s residence resulted in the arrest of an additional suspect and the recovery of 400 grams of cocaine, a Toyota RAV4 SUV, and various drug trafficking paraphernalia.

The NDLEA also intercepted drug consignments destined for China and the UK, concealed in steel bolts and shea butter, respectively. Additionally, a significant amount of cannabis and other illicit drugs were seized in various operations across Nigeria, leading to multiple arrests.

NDLEA Chairman Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa commended the efforts of the agency’s officers and reiterated the importance of the NDLEA’s role in national security. He also praised the agency’s advocacy efforts under the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign, which continues to educate communities about the dangers of drug abuse.

The statement emphasized the agency’s commitment to dismantling drug trafficking networks and reaffirmed its dedication to reducing both the supply and demand for illicit drugs in Nigeria.

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