The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has detained members of a syndicate illegally importing and distributing the dangerous synthetic opioid Fentanyl in Anambra. The fatal substance is 100 times stronger than Tramadol. It can also inflict massive casualties among the adolescent demographic targeted by the cartels.
According to Mr. Femi Babafemi, the agency’s spokesperson,
“Two members of the syndicate, Odoh Oguejiofor and Oliver Uzoma were arrested at Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge, Onitsha South LGA, Anambra State, in well-coordinated and clinical operations.
“The arrest is coming on the heels of an alert issued by the anti-narcotics agency on November 22, 2022, that some criminal elements were plotting to flood the Nigerian market with the drug, which is currently responsible for over 70 per cent overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and non-fatal overdoses in the United States.
“According to the CDC in the US, Fentanyl is 80 times as potent as morphine and 100 times more potent than heroin.
“Following credible intelligence and synergy with local and international partners, the NDLEA was able to mobilise necessary assets to trace the illicitly manufactured drug to the Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge, reputed to be the largest drug market in West Africa, after months of undercover monitoring.
“Convinced that the agency has gathered sufficient evidence to nail the suspects, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Brig-Gen. Mohamed Marwa (retd) ordered a deployment of operatives to pick members of the syndicate one after the other.
“Oguejiofor was the first to be arrested while on a business mission with packets of 100 micrograms of Fentanyl, while the arrest of Uzoma, who is a major dealer in other illicitly manufactured pharmaceutical opioids including Fentanyl, followed.
“While packs of liquid Fentanyl were recovered from Odoh, different quantities of banned and controlled drugs including Fentanyl were seized from Uzoma.
“They include: Ampules of Fentanyl Injection; Ozempic solution for injection in pre-filled pens; Ampules of Sustanon 250mg/ml; Ampules of Rivavirin injection 200mg/2ml; Ampules of Erythropoietin injection; Ampules of Recombinant Anti Rho-D Immunoglobulin injection 300MG; Ampules of Pethidine 100mg/2ml solution for injection and Zoladex 3.6mg Goserelin.”.
In response, Marwa complimented the officers and men of the agency participating in the operation. Furthermore, he urged them to accelerate the crackdown on any members of the cartel who may have gone underground.
cc: Vanguard Ng