The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted 4,560 kilogrammes of skunk in interdiction operations in Lagos, Adamawa and Osun states.
NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi said in a statement on Sunday operatives also busted a skucchies factory in Ogun and arrested four suspects.
He said the four suspects belonged to a drug syndicate and included two church officials, a female courier company staff, and another woman involved in trafficking the lethal opioid fentanyl in Delta.
According to him, the bust of the fentanyl cartel operating from Warri in Delta is barely a month after two members of another syndicate, Odoh Oguejiofor and Oliver Uzoma, were arrested.
“They were arrested at Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge, Onitsha South LGA, Anambra State, following months of intelligence-led investigation of the syndicates behind the dangerous drug 100 times more potent than heroin.
“It is currently responsible for over 70 per cent of overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States,” he said.
Meanwhile, two officials of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministries (aka Mercy City Church), Warri, Adewale Ayeni, 39, and Ebipakebina Appeal, 41, linked to two intercepted consignments of the illicit drug have been arrested.
Mr Babafemi said Mr Ayeni was one of those managing the prayer call centre of the church, while Mr Ebipakebina was in charge of the movement of international guests from the airport to the church.
“Two female accomplices also arrested in Warri in the course of investigating the intercepted shipments include Naomi David, 28.
“She was a staff of United Parcel Services (UPS), and Stacy Njideka, also known as Nkiruka, 27, who is a business associate of Ayeni,” he said.
In another development, operatives of the agency on July 5 intercepted a Toyota Hilux vehicle marked EPE 863 XD along Ngurore-Mayo Belwa road, Adamawa.
Mr Babafemi said a search of the van with two occupants: Kelvin Efe, 51, and Christian Ogaga, 42, showed that 118 cartoons of Indomie Noodles packs were used to conceal 544 blocks of compressed cannabis sativa.
He said the drugs weighing 408kg were hidden in a false compartment and meant for distribution in Yola, Mubi and Gombe.
Also, in Lagos, NDLEA operatives, on July 1, arrested a suspect, Segun Odeyemi, conveying 89 jumbo bags of skunk of 3,842kg in his truck around the Eleganza area of Ajah, Lekki.
Mr Babafemi said an abandoned J5 Peugeot bus marked AAA 521 SQ with bags of fresh pepper used to conceal 25 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 300.5kg was recovered along the Akure-Ilesa expressway in Osun.
He said this was after its occupants sighted NDLEA officers on patrol on July 7.
However, on July 6, operatives in Ogun raided a skucchies factory at Ajaka Sagamu, where a suspect, Adekunle Adekola, was arrested.
“Exhibits recovered from the premises include 10kg cannabis; 1,356 litres of skucchies; 20 litres of codeine; seven deep freezers; a set of firman generator; and two gas cylinders, among others.”