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Photos: NDLEA Arrests Wanted Drug Baron In Village Mansion, Recovers Meth, Guns

Operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have arrested the wanted leader of a drug syndicate, 42-year-old Joachin Chikaodi Mbonu, and one of his associates .

The two were arrested at his associate were arrested in Mbonu’s mansion in his Umuomi village, Uzogba-Ezenomi autonomous community, Ikeduru local government area of Imo State.

Before their arrest, the duo are the brains behind a major drug cartel involved in the production and distribution of deadly psychoactive substance, methamphetamine, popularly called ‘Mkpuru Mmiri’.

The operational bases of the cartel include Imo and Rivers States, became a target of the anti-narcotics Agency following intelligence indicating it was responsible for the distribution of substantial quantity of methamphetamine in South-East, South-South and other parts of the country.

This  arrest was made known in a statement signed by the Director, Media & Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday, said after weeks of surveillance, officers of a special operations unit of the Agency on Friday, July 5, 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.

Exhibits recovered from the house include: 419.99 grams of methamphetamine; 750 grams of iodine, a precursor chemical for meth; 500 grams of sodium bicarbonate, a precursor chemical for meth; two electronic weighing scales and a pump action gun with four cartridges.

“The operatives moved swiftly to another of Mbonu’s hideout 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,” Babafemi stated.

He added that 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,” the NDLEA spokesman pointed out.

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, while he stated that the manner in which 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.

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Rita Elenwo

Rita Aletor- Elenwo, is a professional journalist with experience in broadcast, print and online reporting. A proud citizen of Edo state, Nigeria (Esan South East Local Government) Rita had her first degree in philosophy from Ebonyi State University (2008), PGD, in Communication from the University of Port Harcourt (2020), and currently in pursuit of an MSC degree in communication. Rita (nee Aletor-) is happily married with lovely children.

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