The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has busted a drug market reputed to be the largest in West Africa, after months of undercover monitoring.
NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, saying the agency was able to mobilise necessary assets to trace the illicitly manufactured drug to the Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge in Anambra State.
He also said two members of a syndicate were involved in the illicit importation and trafficking of the lethal synthetic opioid, Fentanyl.
Identifying the suspects as Odoh Collins Oguejiofor and Oliver Chigozie Uzoma, the NDLEA spokesman said the arrest followed “credible intelligence and synergy with local and international partners.”
Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than Tramadol and capable of causing mass casualty among the youth population being targeted by the cartels, Babafemi said.
“Two members of the syndicate: Odoh Collins Oguejiofor and Oliver Chigozie Uzoma were arrested at Ogbogwu market, Onitsha Head Bridge, Onitsha South LGA, Anambra State, in well-coordinated and clinical operations,” he stated.
“The arrest is coming on the heels of an alert issued by the anti-narcotics Agency on Tuesday 22nd November 2022 that some criminal elements were plotting to flood the Nigerian market with the drug, which is currently responsible for over 70% of overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and non-fatal overdoses in the United States”.
“Following credible intelligence and synergy with local and international partners, the NDLEA was able to mobilize 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.”