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NDLEA declares drug baron wanted, intercepts N6.5bn heroin

The suspect fled his home before the arrival of the team of operatives who stormed his residence.

• July 11, 2021
NDLEA
NDLEA officials

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has declared Tony Chidi Onwurolu wanted after a heroin consignment was traced to him.

The agency had intercepted a consignment of 26.15 kilogrammes of heroin with a street value of over N6.5 billion at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos.

Its spokesperson Femi Babafemi said on Sunday that the seizure was made at the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO) shed of the Lagos airport.

According to him, the illicit drug had arrived in Lagos in 25 parcels from South Africa through an Air Peace Airline flight on June 30, 2021.

He said that it was, however, detained for screening following reasonable suspicion of the content of the consignment.

“A follow-up operation was subsequently carried out the following day, July 1 when narcotics officers of the MMIA command trailed the driver and a clearing agent that was assigned to deliver the consignment.

“Investigation revealed that they were to deliver it to the house of a baron, Tony Chidi Onwurolu, at No. 132 Lateef Adegboyega Street, off Ago palace way by Grandmate bus stop Okota, Lagos.

“During the follow-up operation, Mr Onwurolu, who mounted a counter-surveillance around his neighbourhood, fled his home before the arrival of the team of operatives who stormed his residence.

“They were however able to search his home and recovered several documents to establish his true identity,” he said.

Mr Babafemi said that the NDLEA chairman had directed that the fleeing drug baron be declared wanted immediately and his details submitted to Interpol for tracking across the world.

He said Marwa had, therefore, directed the agency’s Directorate of Assets and Financial Investigations as well as the Directorate of Intelligence to deploy their networks to fast track the arrest of Mr Onwurolu.

Given the volume of heroin brought into the country by the fleeing baron, the NDLEA boss said the agency would deploy all available mechanisms, locally and internationally, to track him and bring him to face charges in the law court.

“Those who have been on the run for 10 years and some for five years have since been tracked and are now facing charges while cooling their heels behind bars.

“The latest one will not be an exception.

He can only run but cannot hide for too long before we get him,” Mr Marwa was quoted to have said.

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