Everything you need to know about Nigeria’s biggest-ever cocaine bust this week – that’s $278m worth to be exact

In what Nigerian authorities describe as the countries biggest drug bust ever, more than 1.8 tons (1 855kg) of cocaine with an estimated street value of US$278 250 000 was seized. The haul was found in a warehouse in Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said this week.

Four people, including three Nigerians and a Jamaican national, have been arrested, the agency said.

“They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the agency has been trailing since 2018,” it said.

The suspects were trying to sell the cocaine to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.

At least four drug barons and the warehouse manager were arrested in a 2-day operation at several locations in Lagos state. The kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include Nigerians Soji Jibril, 69, Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, Wasiu Akinade, 53, Sunday Oguntelure, 53, and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica.

Nigeria’s anti-narcotics agency seized cocaine with an estimated street value of $278 million on Monday, the biggest single drug bust in the country’s history, it said on Twitter. Picture: National Drug Law Enforcement Agency

“Located at 6 Olukuola Crescent, Solebo estate, Ikorodu, the warehouse was raided on Sunday, September  18 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in Lagos on Sunday night and Monday, September 19.”

Preliminary investigations revealed that the class A drugs were stored in the warehouse in the residential estate in 10 travel bags and 13 drums. From there, the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.

While commending all the officers and men of the agency involved in the investigation, including those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA), the chairperson and CEO of the agency, retired Brigadier-General Mohamed Buba Marwa, said the bust was a historic blow to the drug cartels and a strong warning that they would all go down if they failed to realise that the game had changed.

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