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India nabs 2 Nigerians, Ivorian drug cartel

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By Abiodun Okunloye

14.5 kg of Methaqualone worth N3,371,078,241.00 was recovered.

The Special Cell of the Delhi Police Department detained two Nigerians and an Ivorian on Friday who was operating an international drug cartel trafficking illegal substances across India. According to the official, drug storage was done by the cartel in residences in a posh colony neighborhood of Greater Noida. Bhaskar live, a local media outlet, reported that the group of people, including Nigerians Nnamani Ahukajude (44), a resident of Nilothi Extension, and Chinezie (34), a resident of Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), and Cote d’Ivoire national Franck Oumar Ibrahim (40), a resident of Greater Noida, were caught with 14.5 kg worth Rs 60 crore N3,371,078,241.00.

HGS Dhaliwal, the Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), revealed that there is intel about the involvement of many people of African origin living in Delhi who are involved in drug trafficking in other parts of the country from Delhi-NCR. On March 4, information was obtained about a Nigerian national who had arrived with a shipment of methaqualone along a petrol station on the Dhaula Kuan-Gurugram Expressway in order to hand over the package to his contact. According to the Special CP, he fell into a trap and was quickly captured.

Nnamani’s confession led to the arrest of other cartel members.

When the man, identified as Nnamani, had his bag searched, Methaqualone weighing 4.680 kilograms was discovered in cardboard boxes that had been further wrapped in clothes. He admitted to being a part of the drug cartel in Delhi-NCR, where people of African origin operated. In addition, he said that he had obtained the drugs from a Greater Noida resident named Franck Oumar lbrahim, who was originally from Cote d’Ivoire. On March 5, at Nnamani’s claim, Franck was apprehended close to Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Janakpuri.

As a result of the search, eight kilograms of methaqualone were found in his vehicle’s dickey. Franck stated that he had gotten the consignments of substances from a Nigerian national named Chinezie, who also operates in Greater Noida. Chinezie was detained on March 6 outside the ONGC Building in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. A total of 1.250 kilograms of methaqualone was found in his bag. The official stated that during the search of his rented house in Greater Noida, 570 grams of methaqualone were found.

The arrested dealers have been living in India illegally.

Furthermore, when in possession of drugs, cartel members never take public transportation like trains or planes. The suspects apprehended have also admitted that they have been involved in the distribution of drugs for more than two years. The three drug dealers who were detained were all residing in India illegally and without valid travel documentation. Nnamani stated that he entered India in March 2022 on a six-month tourist visa but remained in the country after its expiration, as outlined by the Special CP.

Franck revealed that he arrived in India in January 2022 through a tourist visa valid for six months but never left the country, despite the fact that his visa had expired and he should have returned to Cote d’Ivoire. Chimezie went to India on a six-month tourist visa in January 2018, but after that, he didn’t go back to Nigeria.  The Special CP continued by saying that efforts were being made to find and apprehend the cartel’s remaining members.

Long-route buses were utilized to transport their consignment.

Moreso, the three drug dealers were arrested and subjected to extensive investigation. They said that the Africans in Greater Noida would be the ones to deliver the shipments of methaqualone to them. According to the official, most of their drug dealing occurred in the INA Market, Vasant Kunj Mall, C-1 Janakpuri, and Vikaspuri areas of Delhi. The suspect further stated that they had used carriers to transport drugs from Delhi/NCR to Bangalore and Mumbai. Their mode of operation consists of sending couriers to Bangalore from Ahmedabad via long-route buses, which were boarded in Dhaula Kuan. Drugs are concealed in hidden compartments of the carriers’ bags. Once the packages have been delivered, the carriers will fly back to Delhi.


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