NDLEA Arrests Notorious Drug Baron in Imo State

NDLEA Arrests Notorious Drug Baron in Imo State

In a major breakthrough, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended Joachin Mbonu, a notorious drug baron, in his village mansion in Imo State on July 5. Mbonu, wanted for his involvement in a methamphetamine production and distribution network, was arrested alongside his associate.

The agency’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, confirmed the arrest, describing Mbonu as a key figure in a cartel responsible for producing and distributing methamphetamine, known locally as ‘Mkpuru mmiri’. “A major drug cartel behind the production and distribution of deadly psychoactive substance, methamphetamine, popularly called ‘Mkpuru mmiri’ has been taken down by operatives of the NDLEA following the arrest of the leader of the syndicate, 42-year-old Joachin Chikaodi Mbonu and his associate in his mansion tucked in his Umuomi village, Uzogba-Ezenomi autonomous community, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State,” Babafemi stated.

The NDLEA had targeted the cartel, which operated in Imo and Rivers states, based on intelligence indicating its significant role in distributing methamphetamine across the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria.

During the operation, NDLEA operatives seized 419.99 grams of methamphetamine, 750 grams of iodine, and a pump-action gun with four cartridges. “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,” Babafemi reported.

Further raids on the residences of Mbonu’s associates in Rivers and Imo states yielded additional seizures. At a hideout in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, operatives recovered 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate, 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate, and 75 grams of methamphetamine. Another raid at the home of an associate in Njaba, Imo State, led to the discovery of another pump-action gun with 25 cartridges.

Mbonu, who had previously fled South Africa under investigation for drug-related activities, returned to Nigeria to continue his illicit trade. He established clandestine laboratories in remote areas to evade detection. Now in custody, his two mansions in Imo State have been marked for potential forfeiture to the Federal Government.

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