Africa-Press – Nigeria. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has announced its operatives have arrested two members of a syndicate alleged to be involved in the illicit importation and trafficking of the lethal synthetic opioid, fentanyl, in Anambra State.
Odoh Collins Oguejiofor and Oliver Chigozie Uzoma were arrested at Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge, in Onitsha South LGA of the state.
The announcement was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi.
Items recovered from the suspects include packs of liquid Fentanyl, different quantities of banned and controlled drugs including Fentanyl, ampoules of Fentanyl injection, Ozempic solution for injection in pre-filled pens, ampoules of Sustanon 250mg/ml, ampoules of Rivavirin injection 200mg/2ml, ampoules of Erythropoietin injection, ampoules of Recombinant Anti-Rho-D Immunoglobulin injection 300MG, ampoules of Pethidine 100mg/2ml solution for injection, and Zoladex 3.6mg Goserelin.
Babafemi said the arrest followed credible intelligence and synergy between the agency and local and international partners.
He added that the operation was ordered by the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd), after months of undercover monitoring and sufficient evidence to nail the suspects.
The arrest is coming on the heels of an alert issued by the anti-narcotics agency in November 2022 that some criminal elements were plotting to flood the Nigerian market with Fentanyl, which has been claimed to be responsible for over 70% of overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States.
Reacting to the development, Marwa commended the officers and men of the agency involved in the operation and urged them to intensify the crackdown on other members of the cartel who might have gone underground.
“We will no doubt hunt down every member of this criminal gang before they do further harm to our public health, especially our youth population,” said Marwa, who also thanked NDLEA’s international partners for their huge confidence in the agency.
“In the same vein, I will urge parents and other stakeholders to be vigilant, alert, and warn their young ones against attempting to experiment with this illicit substance,” Marwa added.