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Cablegate: Gfup-06-9259/Nigeria; International Controlled

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: LAGOS 01527

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On October 11, DEA Attache (CA) Sam Gaye
and British Drug Liaison Officer (DLO) Jon King in
conjunction with Togolese authorities, conducted a successful
international controlled delivery (ICD) of 7 kilograms of
heroin in Lome, Togo. Nigerian national Fedelis Ezechukwu was
arrested as a result of the ICD. The heroin originated from
Karachi, Pakistan and was intended for a Nigerian drug
trafficking organization (DTO). Under Togolese law, Ezechukwu
faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for
importation of a dangerous controlled substance. Togolese
Minister of Security expressed his gratitude with our help on
the operation and promised full cooperation with the DLO and
DEA for future operations.

2. (SBU) In late September 2005, British authorities in
Dubai, U.E intercepted a shipment containing an undetermined
quantity of heroin (reftel). The shipment originated in
Karachi, Pakistan from: M.K. Enterprises, Room #67 Wazir
Mansion, Nicol Road, Karachi. It was consigned to a
Lome-based company : Sunny West, AU DU 24, Lome, Togo. The
latter is owned by Sunday Chukwudi Geoffrey, a Nigerian
resident in Togo. The shipment arrived in Togo via Nigeria.
Upon the shipment's arrival in Lome, the Togolese drug police
contacted the owner of the consignee company for
investigation. Geoffrey told the police that he was a
clearing agent and that the shipment in question was destined
for overland shipment to Nigeria. cooperating with the
police, Geoffrey agreed to contact the owner of the
consignment via a Nigerian Cellular phone number. According
to the drug police, Geoffrey informed the owner that his
shipment had arrived in Lome. The owner agreed to travel by
road from Nigeria to Lome to pick up the shipment.

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3. (SBU) The police established surveillance near Lome's
international airport where the shipment was being stored.
Nigerian national Fedelis Ezechukwu traveled from Onitsha,
Anambra State, Nigeria to Lome to pick up the shipment. He
presented the bill of lading and claimed the consignment. As
he was about to depart the airport, the police arrested him.
He was then transported to the headquarters of the drug
police for investigation.

4. (SBU) During post-arrest interrogation by CA Gaye and DLO
King, Ezechukwu said he was recruited in Nigeria by a person
named Ifeaniyi Okeke to travel to Togo and pick up the
shipment. He claimed he had met Okeke a few months earlier at
a beer parlor in Lagos. During that encounter, Okeke asked
him to pick up a shipment he was expecting from Pakistan.
Okeke promised to pay him when the shipment arrived safely in
Nigeria. Ezechukwu claimed he did not know much about Okeke
nor did he have Okeke's address. The only information he had
was Okeke's Nigerian cellular phone number (0803-360-8763).
Ezechukwu said he was instructed to call the cellular number
when he arrived in Nigeria. At that time, Okeke would direct
him where to take the shipment. During the interrogation,
Ezechukwu was evasive and seemed to know more than he was

5. (SBU) The 7 kilograms of heroin were concealed in 146
packages, each containing 12 cotton rods (each cotton rod
contained 5 grams in clear plastic). The heroin was weighed
and sealed. A sample was taken to the laboratory for
analysis. Defendant Ezechukwu was charged with importation of
dangerous controlled substance under Togolese law. He faces a
maximum sentence of 20 years.

6. (SBU) Following this operation, Colonel Laoukpessi
Pitalouna-Ani, Togolese Minister of Security, invited CA Gaye
and DLO King to his office. The minister expressed his
gratitude and promised full cooperation with the DLO and DEA.
The minister added that Togo would not be used as safehaven
for drugs and that he was prepared to move against those "
military and government officials" involved in drug
trafficking. The minister urged DEA and the DLO to share
information linking government officials to drug trafficking.

7. (SBU) Comment: This is the first instance of
collaboration on an ICD with our British counterpart in West
Africa in recent memory, and it was successful. This paves
the way to more such operations. While we do not know much
about Colonel Laoukpessi, we were pleased with the work of
the Togolese in this matter. Laoukpessi appeared to be
committed to international collaboration on counter narcotics
and we plan to take him up on his promise to cooperate on
future operations. End comment.

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