A 1.8 tons of cocaine was seized from a warehouse in Lagos with a street value of $278.5 million, Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency spokesman said on Monday.
The agency said the drugs, found in a residential estate’s warehouse on Sunday, were destined for buyers in Europe and Asia.
West Africa is a major transit hub for cocaine made in Latin America and sold in Europe. In April, police in Ivory Coast seized more than two tons of cocaine, while authorities in the Island Archipelago of Cape Verde seized 9.5 tons of cocaine in 2019.
The United Nations (U.N.) Office on Drugs and Crime said that global cocaine seizures has reached a record high of 1,424 tons in 2020.
The Nigerian agency arrested five people in connection with the raid who it said were members of an international drug ring that it had been tracking since 2018 in coordination with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Those in custody included four Nigerians and one Jamaican national.
Nigeria’s anti-drug agency seized a record 1.8 tons of cocaine valued at $278 million at a Lagos warehouse in what it described on Monday as likely the country’s largest bust ever.
Five people, the warehouse manager and four “drug barons”, including one profiled as a Jamaican were arrested in connection with the drugs, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said.
The suspects were members of an international drug syndicate the agency has been trailing since 2018.
The agency said the drugs were found in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos on Sunday at a time when “the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.”
The drugs were stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums, the agency said in a statement published along with photos of the suspects and the drugs.