More than 50 drug enforcement officials crept through the compound and surrounded the methamphetamine lab hidden by overgrown jungle behind the property.
“It took one year of surveillance,” a National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officer, who was involved in the raid, told AFP. “They were all sleeping. We took them by surprise.” Inside the lab there was 78 kilograms (171 pounds) of meth — a drug as notorious for its exhilarating highs as its life-destroying, addictive lows.
Drug trafficking is nothing new to Nigeria, which has long been a transit point for cocaine and heroin going to Europe and North America. The difference is that now Nigerians are producing the drugs.
With vast quantities of chemicals entering the country, porous borders and corrupt law enforcement, Nigeria is an ideal place to produce the drug.
Since the country’s first meth lab was discovered in 2011, authorities have found 14 more producing mass quantities of the stimulant, while seizures of the drug have jumped from 177 kilos in 2012 to 1,363 kilos in 2016.
Reliable data on meth production in Nigeria is hard to come by and seizures are small compared with global giants Mexico and Myanmar.