NDLEA discovers Drug Laboratory, arrests operators
NAFDAC Seals 7 Shops Over Sales Of Fake Wine In Asaba
Officials of the Special Enforcement Team (SET) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in the course of week discovered a laboratory used for the illicit production of methamphetamine in Asaba, the Delta State capital, similar to the ones found in Mexico and the first to be discovered in the country.
NDLEA Chairman, Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, who paraded the suspects at NDLEA headquarters in Lagos, said the laboratory has a capacity to produce between 3,000kg and 4,000kg of methamphetamine per production cycle.
“A significant feature of this laboratory is that the production process is more technical and sophisticated because it uses the synthesis method of methamphetamine production. All the principal actors linked to this illicit act were apprehended in a simultaneous raid by our men in Lagos, Obosi in Anambra State and at the laboratory in Asaba, Delta State,” Abdallah stated.
Those arrested include four Nigerians believed to be joint owners of the laboratory and four Mexicans, who are methamphetamine production experts, hired as technical partners. The NDLEA boss gave the names of the suspects as Chief Chibi Aruh, William Ejike Agusi, Umolu Kosisochukwu and Umolu Ckukwemeka. Others are Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno, Rivas Ruiz Pastiano, Castillo Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro.
According to the NDLEA boss, items recovered at the laboratory include 1.5kg of finished methamphetamine and 750 litres of liquid methamphetamine. Others include industrial pressure pots, gas cylinders, gas burners, facial masks and some unidentifiable chemicals. Also recovered were Toyota Tundra, Mercedes Benz Jeep ML and a Toyota Corolla car.
Abdallah warned that unless drastic measures are taken against this trend; the rise of super laboratories will put Nigeria on the global spotlight in methamphetamine production. “This is because the laboratory operated at an industrial scale with a high yield of 3,000kg to 4,000kg of methamphetamine per production cycle. Nigeria methamphetamine is now competing with others in Asia and South Africa. The laboratory does not need ephedrine because it uses the synthesis method. Drug cartels are now shifting from simple method of methamphetamine production to a more complex process,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) at the weekend sealed off seven shops at the popular Ogbeogonogo Modern market in Asaba, the Delta State capital for allegedly selling fake and unregistered wine.
The Chief Regulatory Officer of NAFDAC, Mr. Joseph Idowu, said the team was in town to investigate the alleged sales of fake and unregistered wine at the market.