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NDLEA Busts Mkpuru Mmiri Labs in Lagos, Anambra, Nabs Two Barons, One Chemist

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has busted two major clandestine laboratories in Lagos and Anambra States where dangerous illicit drug, crystal methamphetamine, called Mkpuru Mmiri in local parlance, were produced and from where they are distributed across the country and export outside the shores of Nigeria.

The FidelinfoNews gathered that the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), disclosed this Tuesday when he addressed the media on the development.

He said following the outbreak of crystal methamphetamine abuse in the last quarter of 2021, predominantly in the South-east and the cry for help from many communities in the region because of the devastating effects the distribution and abuse of the dangerous stimulant drug were having on their youths and others, the agency deployed all available assets to find the primary source of manufacturing of the drug in Nigeria and arrest the barons behind it and dismantled their rings.

Marwa said while efforts in the past seven months against the cartel behind the methamphetamine scourge have led to the arrest of four kingpins and a cook, “now, we have added two barons and another cook. This no doubt is a loud statement to those involved in the criminal illicit drug trade that it’s time for them to quit or risk losing it all; that is losing their freedom, investment and assets acquired through proceeds from the illegal business”.

The anti-narcotics czar said: “I am pleased to inform the public today that, after months of painstaking intelligence gathering, diligent tracking and coordinated offensive action, we recorded a breakthrough on Saturday, July 30, 2022, when officers and men of the agency successfully busted two methamphetamine manufacturing facilities, called meth laboratories.

“The first one, located in Victoria Garden City (VGC) Estate of Lekki, Lagos, is owned by a baron, Chris Emeka Nzewi, while the second, in Nise community of Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, was owned by Paul Ozoemenam. The owners of these two illicit meth laboratories were successfully arrested alongside Sunday Ukah from Aba, Abia State, the cook or chemist that produced the drugs for them.

“The laboratory in Lagos was set up inside the Boys’ Quarter building of a four-bedroom duplex. From there, we recovered a total of 258.74 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drug. The complete paraphernalia of laboratory equipment such as gas cylinders, giant gas burners, industrial face masks, industrial gloves, tubes and flat-bottomed conical flasks, among others were also found.”

He said he is addressing the public about the weekend busts to raise people’s awareness of the danger that meth production constitutes to public health and the modus operandi of the barons involved in the unwholesome activity.

Marwa revealed that: “The owner of the laboratory in VGC, for instance, was producing this highly unstable and toxic drug in a house where he lived with his family. This speaks volumes about his insensitivity to the consequences of exposing his family, which includes a three-month old baby, to the danger of hazardous chemicals. If that is the case, that is an indication that public health was of no concern to him.

“In this particular case, aside from the laboratory being close to the kitchen of the main house, the waste from the laboratory was channelled into the septic tank and soakaway in the compound, with a high risk of contamination of the water table of the entire neighbourhood.

“On average, the lab produced 50 kilos of methamphetamine every week with plans underway to increase the capacity of production to at least 100 kilogrammes per week. Where do these drugs end? From our preliminary interrogation, we now know the drugs from this lab were both for export and local consumption. We also know there is a supply chain of distributors and buyers for export and the domestic market.

“When you consider the fact that the price of this dangerous drug was going for as high as $500,000 per kilo in the international market in recent time, you will understand why Nzewi cared less to put the lives of his own family at risk by producing this in the same house where they live. Hence, taking these two labs out of operation is a major feat in our continuing effort to curb the meth problem.”

The NDLEA boss said the lab busts also exposed the interconnectivity among syndicates involved in meth production, adding that the cook was hired by both producers to produce for the VGC lab, as well as the lab in Anambra.

He urged members of the public to be sensitive to their environment, adding that: “As we step up the offensive against drug traffickers, we want the public to be more vigilant and be aware of the fact that producers of methamphetamine always choose unsuspecting environments with tight security, like the VGC estate, in this case. And the reason is not far-fetched: They choose secured estates to prevent law enforcement agents from monitoring their activities. They also locate meth labs in remote unsuspecting communities where residents would not be aware of their activities.

“It is very important to note that the waste from methamphetamine production is dangerous to the ecosystem. The chemicals are toxic and once they seep into the soil, they contaminate the water table from which surrounding wells and boreholes draw their water. And citizens who unwittingly consume the water from such sources are exposed to heart and kidney ailments and other organ diseases. Neighbours, too, who inhale gases from the lab, are also susceptible to the same risk. What makes it worse is that the production usually takes place in the middle of the night, between 11 pm and 4 am, and therefore, unsuspecting neighbours could have been exposed to the hazards for months or even years.”

Marwa commended the professionalism of the intelligence-led special units assigned the task.

He said: “Our forensic experts and the 200-man strike force team that we deployed who were the operational arm that executed the mission of dismantling the labs, seizing the crystal meth, precursors, paraphernalia and arresting the culprits are commended.”

End.

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Crime

Squid Game Actor O Yeong-su Charged With Sexual Misconduct

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Squid Game actor O Yeong-su has been charged with sexual misconduct, South Korean judicial officials say.

Fidel Info reports that The 78-year-old is accused of touching a woman inappropriately in 2017, officials said.

Mr O has denied the allegation according to local media.

He became the first South Korean actor to win a Golden Globe award for best supporting actor in a series after his performance in the chart-topping Netflix thriller earlier this year.

The alleged victim first filed a complaint with the police against Mr O in December last year, according to Yonhap news agency. But the case was closed in April without a charge being brought against Mr O.

The prosecution has now reopened the investigation “at the request of the victim.”

Mr O has now been charged without detention, it adds.

Following the charge, Seoul’s culture ministry decided to stop broadcasting a government commercial featuring Mr O, according to local reports cited by AFP news agency.

Squid Game – Netflix’s most popular series of all time – is a thriller series which tells the story of debt-ridden people competing for a huge cash prize in a deadly series of children’s games.

Mr O plays the oldest participant in the survival competition.

Source: BBC

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Insecurity: Bandits Impose Levies On Communities In Zamfara

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A ‘compensation levy’ of varying amounts has reportedly been imposed on some communities in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State.

Fidel Info reports that a resident of Moriki, in one of the communities in the local council, Aliyu Buhari, said the bandits had, through released captives, demanded that they be paid the levy before residents will be allowed access to their farmlands.

Buhari said some communities have paid and agreed on a reconciliation deal with the bandits, adding that residents of Moriki are currently working on raising the levy.

“People living in Moriki ward were asked to pay the sum of N20 million to be able to enjoy some level of peace,” he said.

Recently, two people were kidnapped from Dauran community in the council and a ransom was paid for their release, while in Kanwa, over 40 people, who are mostly women, were abducted during a house-to-house search by the terrorists.

The bandits are yet to demand any ransom for the release of the abducted persons.

The bandits had earlier imposed a compensation levy of N20 million on Kanwa community. The levy is to serve as a peace deal between the terrorists and the community.

Despite paying the levy, the residents are currently living in tension, as they believe that the recent mass abduction may lead to another levy.

“Currently, people of Moriki community are processing how to contribute the compensation fee. The fee is to enable them to access their farmlands and live peacefully without any fear of attack,” Buhari continued.

Many communities have already paid the compensation fee. Most of them yielded during the rainy season when farmers needed to work on their farmlands.

“In Moriki, during the rainy season, people were allowed to farm, but they started to threaten our peace when it was time to harvest our farm produce.

“Each household in Moriki has been asked to contribute N6,500 to make up the N20 million levy.”

“I understand that the deadline for the payment was last week Saturday, but the community is still working towards sourcing the money.”

“Some communities that have been asked to pay compensation levy include Gidan Shaho, Kadamutsa, and Dada.”

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Crime

Terrorists Abduct Zamfara District Head

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Terrorists have abducted the district head of Kwangami village, Muhammad Galadima, and six others in the Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

Fidel Info reports that an indigene, Dahiru Amadu, said that the victims were abducted by heavily armed terrorists on Monday.

Amadu said there was pandemonium in the village as residents tried to escape the  attack, adding that several people were injured.

 He stated that the district head and the six other persons were picked up in their houses and taken to the bandits’ camp.

“We are currently living in fear because the bandits are always around us abducting our people and asking for ransom.

 “Just recently, they abducted 10 of our people on their farmlands who are still in captivity because we cannot pay the ransom,” he added.

The six residents of Kazauda village, Gusau LGA who were abducted a few days ago, have been released by the bandits following the payment of N4m ransom.

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