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‘Toxic’ Crystal Meth (Mkpuru Mmiri) Lab Uncovered By NDLEA In VGC Estate

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The Victoria Garden City (VGC) Estate of Lekki, Lagos was the scene of a lab bust for crystal methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri), according to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Tuesday.

Many internet users were surprised to learn that a document regarding the discovery had been making the rounds online.

One of the wealthy estates that dot Lagos State is VGC.

Mohamed Buba Marwa, Chairman and Chief Executive of NDLEA, stated during a news briefing on Tuesday that Anambra had also seen the discovery of another meth factory.

Following the spread of crystal methamphetamine abuse in the last quarter of 2021, primarily in the South East, and the cries for assistance from many communities in the area due to the devastating effects that the distribution and abuse of the risky stimulant drug were having on their youths and others, according to Marwa, the Agency deployed all of its resources to locate the main processing facility for the drug in Nigeria and apprehend the barons responsible.

'Toxic' Crystal Meth (Mkpuru Mmiri) Lab Uncovered By NDLEA In VGC Estate

Four kingpins and a cook have been detained as a result of efforts made over the past seven months against the cartel that is responsible for the methamphetamine disorder, according to Marwa.

“Now, we have added two barons and another cook,” Marwa stated. “This no doubt is a loud statement to those involved in the criminal illicit drug trade that its time for them to quit or risk losing it all; that is losing their freedom, investment and assets acquired through proceeds from the illegal business.

“I am pleased to inform the public today that, after months of painstaking intelligence gathering, diligent tracking and coordinated offensive action, we recorded a breakthrough on Saturday, July 30, 2022, when officers and men of the Agency successfully busted two methamphetamine manufacturing facilities, called Meth Laboratories.

“The first one, located in Victoria Garden City (VGC) Estate of Lekki, Lagos, is owned by a baron, Chris Emeka Nzewi, while the second, in Nise Community of Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State was owned by Paul Ozoemenam. The owners of these two illicit meth laboratories were successfully arrested alongside Sunday Ukah from Aba, Abia State, the cook or chemist that produced the drugs for them.

“The laboratory in Lagos was set up inside the Boys Quarter building of a four-bedroom duplex. From there, we recovered a total of 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drug. The complete paraphernalia of laboratory equipment such as gas cylinders, giant gas burners, industrial face masks, industrial gloves, tubes and flat-bottomed conical flasks, among others were also found.”

He claimed he was speaking to the public about the weekend busts to inform them of the threat meth production poses to the general public as well as the tactics used by the barons engaged in the unwholesome business.

Meth making lab house

He claimed, for example, that the proprietor of the laboratory in VGC was making this dangerous substance in a home where he and his family resided.

“This speaks volumes about his insensitivity to the consequences of exposing his family, which includes a three-month old baby, to the danger of hazardous chemicals. If that is the case, that is an indication that public health was of no concern to him,” Marwa said.

“In this particular case, aside from the laboratory being close to the kitchen of the main house, the waste from the laboratory was channeled into the septic tank and soakaway in the compound, with a high risk of contamination of the water table of the entire neighborhood.

“On average, the lab produced 50 kilos of methamphetamine every week with plans underway to increase the capacity of production to at least 100kg per week. Where do these drugs end? From our preliminary interrogation, we now know the drugs from this lab were both for export and local consumption. We also know there is a supply chain of distributors and buyers for export and the domestic market.

“When you consider the fact that the price of this dangerous drug was going for as high as US500, 000 per kilo in the international market in recent time, you will understand why Nzewi cared less to put the lives of his own family at risk by producing this in the same house where they live. Hence, taking these two labs out of operation is a major feat in our continuing effort to curb the meth problem.”

The NDLEA boss added that the chef was employed by both producers to produce for the VGC lab as well as the lab in Anambra, claiming that the lab busts also highlighted the interconnectedness of meth production syndicates.

He exhorted people to be mindful of their surroundings. We want the public to be more attentive and aware of the fact that methamphetamine makers always pick suspicious locations with high security, like the VGC estate in this case, while we ratchet up our offensive against drug traffickers. They select secured estates to prevent law enforcement from watching their behavior, and the explanation is not implausible. Additionally, they find meth laboratories in distant, unassuming areas where residents would not be aware of their activities.

“It is very important to note that the waste from methamphetamine production is dangerous to the ecosystem. The chemicals are toxic and once they seep into the soil, they contaminate the water table from which surrounding wells and boreholes draw their water,” he said.

“And citizens who unwittingly consume the water from such sources are exposed to heart and kidney ailments and other organ diseases. Neighbors, too, who inhale gases from the lab, are also susceptible to the same risk. What makes it worse is that the production usually takes place in the middle of the night, between 11 pm and 4 am, and therefore, unsuspecting neighbors could have been exposed to the hazards for months or even years.”

Marwa praised the intelligence-led special units for completing the assignment with expertise.

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