Following the arrest of the syndicate’s leader, 42-year-old Joachin Chikaodi Mbonu, and his associate in their mansion nestled in Umuomi village, Uzogba-Ezenomi autonomous community, Ikeduru local government area of Imo State, operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have taken down a major drug cartel responsible for the production and distribution of the deadly psychoactive substance methamphetamine, popularly known as “mkpuru mmiri.”

Wanted drug baron arrested in village mansion as NDLEA recovers meth, precursors, guns

 

According to a statement from Femi Babafemi, the anti-drug agency’s spokesperson, the cartel, which has operations in Imo and Rivers state, became a target of the agency after intelligence revealed it was in charge of distributing significant amounts of methamphetamine throughout the South East, South-South, and other regions of the nation.

‘’After weeks of surveillance, officers of a special operations unit of the Agency on Friday 5th July 2024, tracked and traced the drug lord to his village mansion in Imo state where he was caught with a member of his cartel, Kenneth Chibuike Ofoegbu, 34, with different quantities of methamphetamine, its precursor chemicals, a pump action gun and cartridges recovered”

A pump action gun with four cartridges, two electronic weighing scales, 750 grams of iodine, a precursor chemical for meth, 500 grams of sodium bicarbonate, and 419.99 grams of methamphetamine are among the exhibits that were found in the house, according to Babafemi.

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He stated that the operatives moved swiftly to another of Mbonu’s hideouts located at 11 Redemption Avenue, Port Harcourt, Rivers state where they recovered additional exhibits: 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate; 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate and 75 grams of meth.

 

Another raid in the home of one of Mbonu’s associates, Odoemenam Pedro Chinedu, currently at large, at Njaba LGA, Imo state, led to the recovery of another pump action gun with 25 cartridges, among other items. While the kingpin cools his heels in custody, two of his mansions in Imo state have been marked for possible forfeiture to the federal government.

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Wanted drug baron arrested in village mansion as NDLEA recovers meth, precursors, guns

 

‘’Mbonu had escaped from South Africa where he lived for years and mastered the art of cooking methamphetamine after he came under investigation for drug dealings. Upon his return to Nigeria, he continued the criminal trade by setting up clandestine laboratories in remote villages to shield his nefarious activities.” Babefmi said

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Wanted drug baron arrested in village mansion as NDLEA recovers meth, precursors, guns

 

Reacting to the successful taking down of the meth syndicate, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) commended the officers and men involved in the multi-pronged operation, stating that how the interdiction was carried out should send a strong signal to other cartels that there’s no hiding place for them in any part of the country.