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Friday, June 21, 2019

Suspect extradited to the United States of America to face drug charges

JOHANNESBURG: The South African Police Service on Friday confirmed that a suspected mastermind of an international drug-smuggling operation who was apprehended last year in Fourways, Johannesburg, was extradited to the United States on Thursday, June 20, 2019 to face charges of drug trafficking.

The suspect named Edwin Elochukwu Anyaoku (54), a Nigerian national, was arrested in a joint police investigation by the Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB) and Crime Intelligence (Counter Narcotics) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) which resulted in the seizure of 29 kilograms of heroin worth more than R6 million.

SAPS said that Anyaoku was arrested with two other suspects, Lerato Diannah Mohai (42) the alleged courier and Christopher Okonkwo (53) who was the suspected scout. 
Okonkwo successfully made a representation to the Randburg Regional Court last year (2018) and after careful consideration his matter was withdrawn. However the case against Mohai is ongoing at the same court. 

According to Police the investigation into the group started in 2017. An undercover operation was set where Anyaoku allegedly agreed to supply heroin. Anyaoku brought 29 kilograms of heroin and after the purchase, he was arrested together with Mohai and Okonkwo.

Police further said that a request was received from the Justice Department of the United States of America for the extradition of Anyaoku late last year. 

"The extradition hearing took place in December last year and Anyaoku decided to waive his right to appeal against the extradition. In April this year the extradition was authorised by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Anyaoku was extradited to the US with the assistance of Pretoria Interpol office yesterday," reads the statement.

Compiled by Buchule Raba - editor@goxtranews.com 

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