The first lab of this type in Western Africa
Nigeria’s anti-drug trafficking agency, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, announced on Saturday the discovery of a super laboratory for the illicit production of methamphetamine and the arrest of four Nigerians and four Mexicans suspects.
The laboratory, which is located in Asaba, Delta State, was detected by the Special Enforcement Team (SET) of the agency, the NDLEA Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, said at a press conference at the agency’s headquarters in the commercial city of Lagos.
“This is the first super laboratory discovered in the country, capable of making the drug in industrial quantities” Mr. Abdallah said.
“This laboratory is similar to the ones found in Mexico in terms of size and has a capacity of between 3,000 kg and 4,000 kg of methamphetamine per production cycle,” he added. Methamphetamine added Ofoyeju, sold six thousand dollars a kilogram in Nigeria, but in Asian markets (preferred by Nigerian drug traffickers) the price rises to $ 300,000 per kilogram.
The NDLEA boss said “another significant feature of this laboratory is that the production process is more technical and sophisticated because it uses the synthesis method of methamphetamine production”.
The eight suspects were arrested following raids in Lagos, Obosi in Anambra State and at the laboratory in Asaba, Delta State, Mr. Abdallah said.
“Those arrested include four Nigerians believed to be joint owners of the laboratory and four Mexicans who are methamphetamine production experts hired as technical partners into the country,” he added.
The four suspects are Chief Chidi Aruh, William Ejike Agusi, Umolu Kosisochukwu and Umolu Chukwuemeka. Others are Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno, Rivas Ruiz Pastiano, Castillo Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro.
The large warehouse used for methamphetamine production was discovered in an industrial area along Ibuzor Road, Asaba in Delta State.
The NDLEA said the four Mexicans were arrested in active production inside the laboratory. Their residence was also traced to number 4C Ekulu Terrace, GRA, Enugu.
The anti-drug agency said the cartel first brought two Mexican methamphetamine experts, Cervantos Madrid Jose Bruno and Rivas Ruiz Pastiano to Nigeria but because the size of the laboratory and the volume of work enormous, two other Mexicans, Castillo Barraza Cristobal and Partida Gonzalez Pedro were brought in.