Abba Kyari, has been arrested over his alleged involvement in a cocaine smuggling cartel, the police said Monday. Kyari and four other police officers were arrested “for…criminal conspiracy, discreditable, unethical, and unprofessional conduct, official corruption and tampering with exhibits in a case of illicit drug trafficking involving a perpetual transnational drug cartel,” a police statement said.
Kyari was suspended last August following an FBI indictment linking him to money launderer Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, who is awaiting sentencing by a US court for his role in cybercrimes.
Before that Kyari was lauded as Nigeria’s most decorated cop and a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Force’s Intelligence Response Team until his suspension.
He was conferred with a Presidential medal for courage from Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016. The officers have been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the police statement stated, adding that Kyari’s involvement in the drug deal “occurred while his suspension from service was subsisting.”
A spokesperson for the NDLEA told a press conference in the capital Abuja that they “strongly believe” that Kyari is part of an international drug ring and was involved in a 25kg cocaine deal. [CNN]