Mkpuru Mmiri: Wanted Drug Baron Tracked Down, Dangerous Items Recovered From His Secret Bases

Joachin Mbonu, a notorious drug baron on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s (NDLEA) wanted list, has been apprehended.

Mbonu was captured in his village mansion in Imo State on July 5, along with his associate.

The NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, announced the arrest in a statement on Tuesday. He revealed that Mbonu is part of a major drug cartel responsible for producing methamphetamine, commonly known as ‘Mkpuru mmiri.’

“A major drug cartel involved in the production and distribution of the deadly psychoactive substance methamphetamine has been dismantled by NDLEA operatives following the arrest of the syndicate’s leader, 42-year-old Joachin Chikaodi Mbonu, and his associate in his Umuomi village mansion, Uzogba-Ezenomi autonomous community, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State,” Babafemi said.

The cartel, operating out of bases in Imo and Rivers states, was targeted by the NDLEA following intelligence that it was distributing large quantities of methamphetamine across the South-East, South-South, and other parts of Nigeria.

During the operation, NDLEA agents recovered 419.99 grams of methamphetamine, 750 grams of iodine, and a pump-action gun with four cartridges, among other items.

Babafemi detailed the operation: “After weeks of surveillance, a special operations unit tracked and apprehended Mbonu in his village mansion on July 5, 2024. He was caught with cartel member Kenneth Chibuike Ofoegbu, 34, along with various quantities of methamphetamine, precursor chemicals, and a pump-action gun with cartridges.”

Additional items recovered from the residence included 500 grams of sodium bicarbonate, two electronic weighing scales, and more. Further raids on Mbonu’s associates’ homes in Rivers and Imo states yielded more illicit drugs.

Babafemi added, “In a follow-up raid at another of Mbonu’s hideouts at 11 Redemption Avenue, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, operatives recovered 750 grams of processed sodium bicarbonate, 170 grams of plain sodium bicarbonate, and 75 grams of meth. Another raid at the home of Mbonu’s associate, Odoemenam Pedro Chinedu, currently at large, in Njaba LGA, Imo State, led to the recovery of another pump-action gun with 25 cartridges.”

Mbonu, who had previously escaped from South Africa after being investigated for drug dealings, returned to Nigeria and continued his illegal trade, setting up clandestine laboratories in remote villages. The NDLEA has marked two of his mansions in Imo State for possible forfeiture to the Federal Government.

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