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NDLEA Declares Nigerian Couple Running Drug Cartel From India Wanted Over Cocaine Trafficking

Posted by Samuel on Sun 19th May, 2024 - tori.ng

The NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, who made this known in a statement issued on Sunday said that the couple were declared wanted following the arrest of four members of the cartel in Lagos.

 Nigerian Couple

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has issued a 'wanted' declaration seeking the whereabouts of a couple identified as Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade, alias Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun, and Rashidat Ayinke Owoalade, alias Bolarinwa Rashidat Ayinke. They are accused of purportedly managing a cocaine syndicate operating from India.

The NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, who made this known in a statement issued on Sunday said that the couple were declared wanted following the arrest of four members of the cartel in Lagos.

Babafemi said that a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) was also recovered and that two houses already traced to the couple had been sealed for forfeiture to the Nigerian government. 

He said the two members of the cartel identified as Imran Taofeek Olalekan and Ishola Isiaka Olalekan were arrested on April 3, following their bid to export 3.40kg cocaine on a Qatar Airlines flight going to Oman through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja Lagos.

Babafemi said, “While Imran was the courier conveying the drug consignment to Oman, Ishola recruited him for the head of the cartel, which investigation has now revealed to be Alhaji Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade whose Indian residence permit bears Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun based in India. 

“Efforts to dismantle his network in Nigeria paid off after five weeks of surveillance and follow-up operations when another member of the syndicate, Hamed Abimbola Saheed who works directly with the baron was arrested on Tuesday 14th May at Abule Egba area of Lagos. 

“It was indeed Saheed who lodged Imran in a hotel a day before his aborted trip to Oman and equally dropped him and Ishola at the Lagos airport the day they were arrested.”

The NDLEA spokesperson said that during a search of Hamed’s house, the agency’s operatives recovered some phenacetine, a cutting agent for cocaine weighing 900 grams. 

“He confessed that the recovered substance was what was left of the consignment Imran was taking to Oman the day he was arrested,” Babafemi added.

Babafemi said that his arrest led to a follow-up operation at the home of the couple at 20 Eyiaro Street, Ogudu Orioke, Lagos where another suspect was arrested and a new model Toyota RAV4 SUV marked FKJ-773 JJ belonging to Rashidat was recovered.

He said an additional 400 grams of cocaine were recovered in addition to suitcases prepared to be used for illicit drug concealment, digital weighing scales and other paraphernalia.



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