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NDLEA busts snake-guarded shrine used to store illicit drugs in Edo

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said its operatives uncovered a shrine guarded by a snake that was used for storing illicit drugs during an operation in Edo State.

It added that it discovered a specially constructed large hole in a wall, hidden behind wallpapers and fetish objects used for drug storage.

A statement on Sunday by the NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, noted that methamphetamine, Loud, Colorado and Arizona, all strong strains of cannabis with a total weight of 8.743 kilograms among others, were recovered from the shrine.

The statement read, “A snake-guarded shrine used to store illicit drugs in Igor community, Benin City, Edo State, has been raided by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, who detected a specially constructed large hole storage in a wall covered with wallpapers and fetish objects.

“Different quantities of illicit substances such as methamphetamine, Loud, Colorado and Arizona, all strong strains of cannabis with a total weight of 8.743 kilograms, were pulled out from the deep hole dug in the wall of the shrine building.”

Babafemi said two ladies namely Sonia Chinonso were arrested and the snake was demobilised. He said, “At least, two ladies: Sonia Chinonso Ezumezu and Risikatu Tijani were arrested during the intelligence-led operation on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, after the big black snake guarding the shrine was demobilised.”

In a separate operation in the state, Babafemi said another two suspects were arrested with 209kg of cannabis.

He said, “In the same vein, two suspects: Obi Ferguson,45, and Ernest Abanum, 46, were arrested on Saturday, June 22, when the NDLEA operatives raided the Usen forest in Ovia South West LGA, Edo State where 209kg cannabis and a motorcycle were recovered.”

In Lagos, Babafemi said officers intercepted a carefully packaged consignment of 8.2 kilograms of methamphetamine at a motor park in the Maza Maza, Ojo area of the state.

“The highly addictive illicit substance, also called ice or crystal meth, was packed in imported Dunkin’ turtle love chocolate wraps and then concealed in the casing of three loudspeakers.

“A 39-year-old suspect, Michael Odiomume, who was sending the consignment to Owerri, Imo State was promptly arrested on Wednesday, June 19, at the park,” the statement added.

Babafemi stated that a 76-year-old grandfather, identified as Francis Omofa, was arrested in Abuja in connection with 340.8 kg of cannabis sativa.

He said, “In Abuja, operatives on Tuesday, June 18, intercepted a white Nissan Frontier pickup vehicle with amber lights and fake registration number of a security agency at Kiyi village in Kuje area of the FCT.

“The vehicle was loaded with 454 compressed blocks of cannabis sativa, weighing 340.8kg procured at Uzeba, Edo State.

A 76-year-old grandfather, Mr Francis Omofa, linked to the consignment was arrested.

He claimed to have been in the illicit drug business for 10 years.”


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