NDLEA dismantles methamphetamine syndicate
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has dismantled a six-man methamphetamine syndicate. The members of the syndicate were arrested in connection with a total of 309 kilograms of ephedrine and a clandestine laboratory. The arrested suspects are Okeke Chukwunwike Celestine, Ezeagba Paul Sunday and Ike Chukwuma Samson. Others are Eze Christopher Ikechukwu, Nwokolo Amobi Sunday and Adelakun Ilelabayo Oluade.
The drug trafficking organization is specialized in the illegal importation of ephedrine to run methamphetamine laboratory in Nigeria, especially in the Eastern and Western parts of Nigeria.
Upon tip-off, Enugu State Command of the Agency had intercepted 100 kilograms of Ephedrine, a precursor chemical for the production of methamphetamine. Upon follow-up, the Command discovered that the precursor chemical is being used by a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory located at Trans- Ekulu Estate in Enugu. The Laboratory has been dismantled by the Agency.
Further investigation led to the arrest of the three other members of the syndicate in FESTAC Town in Lagos from whom 209 kilograms of the illicit ephedrine was recovered, bringing the total ephedrine seizure to 309 and total arrest to six suspected persons.
Only last year, the Agency also discovered another clandestine laboratories in Enugu and Imo States leading to the destruction of 20 kilograms discovered in Enugu and 77.960 kilograms in Imo.
This brings to 16 the number of Methamphetamine laboratories so far discovered in Nigeria between 2011 and 2018. Methamphetamine is an emerging drug clandestinely produced in the country. It is a highly addictive substance that affects the central nervous system. It gives a false sense of well-being and energy. The continued use of the drug creates several negative effects and irreversible harm.
In 2011, Nigeria acquired the status of Methamphetamine producer nation through the discovery of the first methamphetamine laboratory in Lagos. Other laboratories were discovered in the following states, Lagos, Anambra and Delta States. The discoveries of these laboratories across the country, apart from the fact that Nigeria is highest producer of cannabis in West Africa, portends a grave danger for the country and its image which invariably affects the national security of the nation.
Methamphetamine is an illegal drug in the same class as cocaine and other powerful street drugs. It has many nicknames—meth, crank, chalk or speed. It is a white crystalline drug that people take by snorting it (inhaling through the nose), smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Some even take it orally, but all develop a strong desire to continue using it because the drug creates a false sense of happiness and well-being—a rush (strong feeling) of confidence, hyper-activeness and energy. One also experiences decreased appetite. These drug effects generally last from six to eight hours, but can last up to twenty-four hours. The first experience might involve some pleasure, but from the start, methamphetamine begins to destroy the user’s life.
Methamphetamine production also has a devastating impact on the environment where the clandestine laboratory is located. It pollutes the air, ground water, soil and the vegetation within the locality of the meth laboratory while posing a great threat to human security.
Jonah Achema, ACN
Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs