Nigeria’s drugs agency NDLEA seizes record 1.8 tons of cocaine at warehouse in Lagos

Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are seen alongside security officers during a drugs bust operation in Lagos, Nigeria.

A record 1.8 tons of cocaine was seized from a warehouse in Lagos, Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency spokesman said on Monday.

The agency said the drugs, found in a residential estate’s warehouse on Sunday, were destined for buyers in Europe and Asia. The drugs are estimated to be worth ₦194.78 billion (an equivalent of $278.25 million) in street value.

Commending all the officers and men involved in the extensive investigation, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the chairman/chief executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd.) said “the bust is a historical blow to the drug cartels and a strong warning that they’ll all go down if they fail to realise that the game has changed”.

West Africa is a major transit hub for cocaine made in Latin America and sold in Europe. In April, police in Ivory Coast seized more than two tons of cocaine, while authorities in the island archipelago of Cape Verde seized 9.5 tons of cocaine in 2019.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said that global cocaine seizures reached a record high of 1,424 tons in 2020.

The Nigerian agency arrested five people in connection with the raid who it said were members of an international drug ring that it had been tracking since 2018 in coordination with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Those in custody included four Nigerians and one Jamaican national.

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