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Former Diplomat Charged in London to Washington Heroin Sting


January 1993

A former Nigerian diplomat was charged with trying to smuggle $500,000 worth of heroin from London's Heathrow airport to Washington's Dulles airport in the second major, Washington, D.C. area heroin arrest in a week (Santiago O'Donnell, "Former Nigerian Diplomat Charged In Heathrow-to-Dulles Drug Sting: DEA Links Operation to Resurgence of Heroin Smuggling to U.S.," Washington Post, 12/13/92, A34).

Washington area seizures, which are defined as including the District of Columbia, Richmond, Roanoke, and Norfolk Virginia, Charleston, West Virginia, and Baltimore Maryland, jumped from 4.1 kilograms in 1989 to 38 kilograms in 1991. For the fiscal year ending September 1992 seizures came to 21.6 kilograms, down from 1991 but historically high, according to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials. The surge in heroin importation has pushed prices down from a high of $265,000 per kilogram in 1989 to a high of $180,000 per kilogram in 1991.

Former Nigerian diplomat Abdul-Azeez Olagunju and another Nigerian citizen who accepted the heroin were arrested. Olagunju was originally arrested in London, but drug enforcement authorities agreed to let him continue to Washington to deliver the merchandise so they could arrest the recipient.