NDLEA Busts Major Methamphetamine Lab In Delta State, Arrests Four Mexicans, Four Nigerians

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Operatives of the National Drug Law
Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have
uncovered a huge methamphetamine-
making laboratory in Asaba, the capital
of Delta State. Officials of the agency’s Special
Enforcement Team (SET) also busted the
masterminds of the major drug trafficking
organization when they arrested eight suspects,
four of them Mexican nationals, four Nigerians.

The NDLEA stated that the suspects behind the
syndicate were arrested in simultaneous
operations in Lagos, Obosi, a town near
Onitsha in Anambra State, and at the location
of the lab in Asaba.
Methamphetamine laboratory operators
busted by the NDLEA
A statement by the agency, signed by Ofoyeju
Mitchell, disclosed that the methamphetamine
laboratory resembled those found in Mexico. It
was the first lab of its kind to be discovered in
Nigeria, the agency said.
The NDLEA’s chairman, Colonel Muhammad
Mustapha Abdallah, revealed that the
laboratory had a capacity to produce between
3,000 kg and 4,000kg of methamphetamine per
production cycle. He said the highly
sophisticated lab used the synthesis method of
methamphetamine production.
The Nigerian suspects are believed to be joint
owners of the laboratory, with the Mexicans
hired as methamphetamine production experts.
The Nigerian suspects’ names are Chibi Aruh,
William Ejike Agusi, Umolu Kosisochukwu, and
Umolu Chukwuemeka.  The Mexican suspects
are Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno, Rivas Ruiz
Pastiano, Castillo Barraza Cristobal, and Partida
Gonzalez Pedro.
Colonel Abdallah disclosed that the raid on the
lab was an undercover operation, adding that
the four Mexicans were arrested during active
production inside the laboratory. “The cartel
first brought two Mexican methamphetamine
experts, Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno and Rivas
Ruiz Pastiano, to Nigeria. But because of the
size of the laboratory, coupled with the volume
of work, two additional Mexicans, Castillo
Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro,
were added,” said the NDLEA chairman. He
also stated that a successful test production
was carried out at the laboratory in February
2016. The agency’s operatives struck as the
second production cycle was in process,
according to the NDLEA’s statement.
The items recovered from the raid include 1.5
kg of finished methamphetamine, 750 liters of
liquid methamphetamine, industrial pressure
pots, gas cylinders, gas burners, facial masks
and numerous chemicals. The agency also
seized a Toyota Tundra, a Mercedes Benz Jeep
ML, and a Toyota Corolla car.
The NDLEA warned that drastic steps must be
taken to fight the rise of super laboratories in
Nigeria to ensure that the country did not
attain a global spotlight in methamphetamine
production. “Nigeria methamphetamine is now
competing with others in Asia and South Africa
markets. The super laboratory does not need
ephedrine because it uses the synthesis
method. Drug cartels are now shifting from
simple method of methamphetamine
production to a more complex process,” the
agency remarked.
It added that the operation in Asaba
demonstrated the agency’s capacity and
preparedness to track down drug cartels
“irrespective of their covert mode of
The NDLEA chairman noted that the lab in
Asaba posed a serious threat as mass
production of methamphetamine could increase
the rate of abuse of the drug. He added, “More
citizens will equally be targeted by drug cartels
that are searching for drug mules to smuggle
drugs outside the country. This has the
tendency to increase the number of Nigerians
in foreign prisons thereby affecting the image
of our country.”
The agency drew attention to the grave danger
to humans posed by pollution linked to
methamphetamine production, adding that the
drug used toxic chemicals. “Methamphetamine
dump pollutes the environment. This is
because, for every one pound of
methamphetamine produced, about three to
six pounds of toxic waste is created. This can
contaminate the water table within 500 meters
radius from the laboratory. Even plants close to
the dump were found to be dead. The
laboratory contains highly poisonous solvents
and gasses,” said Colonel Abdallah. He
explained that some of the materials used in
the drug’s production are capable of an
explosion while other are linked to cancer.
The NDLEA stated that funds would be required
to enable the agency to detect laboratories
producing illicit drugs, to acquire protective kits
for its agents, and to decontaminate production
sites. Colonel Abdallah estimated the cost of
cleaning up the laboratory in Asaba at N35
The NDLEA urged members of the public to
report suspicious factories to the agency. It
explained that a methamphetamine laboratory
could be identified by its secretive operations
or detected by the irritation and smell caused
by chemicals as well as colored water appearing
in sewage. The agency warned that any houses
used for methamphetamine production should
be avoided while chemical containers must not
be put to domestic use.


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