NDLEA Nabs Notorious Meth Kingpin in Imo State

NDLEA Nabs Notorious Meth Kingpin in Imo State

by Sopuru Sopuru

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has apprehended a notorious drug baron, Joachin Mbonu. The 42-year-old was arrested on July 5 at his opulent mansion in Umuomi village, Ikeduru Local Government Area, Imo State. His capture marks a major blow to a drug cartel infamous for producing and distributing methamphetamine, locally known as ‘Mkpuru mmiri.’

The NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, confirmed the arrest in a statement released on Tuesday. He revealed that Mbonu, along with his associate Kenneth Chibuike Ofoegbu, was detained following weeks of surveillance by a special operations unit. The raid resulted in the seizure of 419.99 grams of methamphetamine, 750 grams of iodine, and a pump action gun with four cartridges, among other items.

Babafemi highlighted that the cartel, operating primarily in Imo and Rivers states, had been under the agency’s radar due to its significant role in methamphetamine distribution across the South-East, South-South, and other regions of Nigeria. The arrest was facilitated by intelligence reports pointing to the cartel’s extensive drug operations.

Further investigations led operatives to Mbonu’s other hideouts. In a raid on a residence at 11 Redemption Avenue, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, agents uncovered additional 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate, 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate, and 75 grams of meth. Another operation in Njaba Local Government Area, Imo State, at the home of an associate, Odoemenam Pedro Chinedu, who remains at large, resulted in the recovery of a pump action gun with 25 cartridges.

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Mbonu, a fugitive from South Africa, where he had been under investigation for drug activities, returned to Nigeria to continue his illegal trade. He established clandestine meth labs in remote villages to evade detection.


As the NDLEA continues to dismantle the drug network, two of Mbonu’s mansions in Imo State have been earmarked for potential forfeiture to the Federal Government. The agency remains resolute in its mission to eradicate drug trafficking and safeguard public health and safety.


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