The National Law Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Enugu State Command, says it has discovered an illegal laboratory manufacturing methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri) in the state.
The NDLEA Commander in the state, Mr Adeyemi Adeofe, disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu, while parading the three suspects allegedly involved in the illegal business.
Adeofe said that the command had on Saturday, following intelligence report arrested two suspects with 100kg of Ephedrine used in producing methamphetamine.
He said that a follow-up operation on Sunday led to the arrest of the third suspect at Zion Avenue, Phase 2, Trans Ekulu, Enugu where the laboratory was located.
He described methamphetamine as one of the most poisonous substances, saying it was being produced due to the high profit made from it.
He said that further investigation by the agency revealed that the chemicals used in production of the substance had contaminated the neighborhood, and that though the agency had sealed off the laboratory, there was an urgent need to decontaminate the environment.
“There is an urgent need to decontaminate the area as waste products of this illicit substance have seeped into the ground.
“The substances have gone into wells of neighbouring compounds, thus poisoning their sources of water supply,” he said, adding that the prevailing circumstance had serious health implications.
“Time will come when the effects of these chemicals will result to deadly health challenges like cancer, birth deformity and kidney problems,” he said.
He urged the residents to promptly report such illegal and life threatening activities to the agency in future.
One of the suspects, who gave his name as Paul Eze, said that he was contracted to deliver the substance from Lagos to Enugu and knew nothing about the illegal business.
He said that the owner of the consignment identified as Christian told him that it was harmless pharmaceutical products that were inside the consignment.
“He gave me a phone number to call when I get to Enugu, but I was arrested at the point of delivering the consignments,” Eze said.
Another suspect, Ikechukwu Uma, said that Christian directed him to receive the consignments and take them to his Enugu residence.
Uma also said he knew nothing about the consignment and the illegal business.
The third suspect, Mr Christopher Eze, who was arrested in the compound where the illegal laboratory was located, denied his involvement in the business.
He also identified Christian, who happened to be his brother-in-law as the owner of the apartment.
He said that Christian, who resides in South Africa permitted him to temporarily live in the compound when he had accommodation problem.
He confirmed that other items paraded by the NDLEA were recovered from a garage in the compound, but denied knowledge of what they were being used for.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the items recovered from the suspects include: some chemicals, gas cylinders and other equipments.