Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, in collaboration with personnel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Thursday, bust a criminal syndicate involved in the trafficking of fake dollars. Based on intelligence received from the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States of America, men drawn from the two law enforcement agencies swooped in on the three suspects in the Lekki area of Lagos State. A total of $269,000 counterfeit US dollars were recovered from the three suspects arrested.
This was as the NDLEA dealt a crushing blow to some cannabis-trafficking syndicates operating in the Opuje forest, Edo State. In the two-day operation, massive warehouses and tents storing over 317,417 kilogrammes of the psychoactive substance were destroyed and set ablaze, while four suspects were arrested.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, confirmed the seizures and arrests in a statement obtained by our correspondent.
Sunday PUNCH reports that this comes few days after the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), vowed to make life difficult for drug barons and cartels this year.
Meanwhile, Babafemi added that a police impersonator, Omoruan Theophilus, 37, who usually paraded himself as a police inspector to convey the drugs from the forests to the cities, was arrested alongside three others namely, Aigberuan Jacob (42), Ekeinde Zaza (53), and Naomi Ohiewere (42).
He noted that the Opuje community in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State was notorious for cannabis cultivation, adding that cartels invested huge resources in the area, cutting down economic trees in forest reserves and cultivating cannabis on hundreds of hectares of land.
He disclosed that after harvest, they built warehouses inside the forest reserves and employed the services of armed youths to protect them round the clock.
Babafemi said, “Accessing the forest on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, took hours of trekking by hundreds of NDLEA operatives. On their way out of the community the following day, they were ambushed by armed youths, but they were able to leave the area without any casualty.
“While commending the officers involved in the two special operations in Edo and Lagos states for their professionalism and commitment, Marwa directed that the fake dollars recovered should be immediately transferred to the EFCC.”