The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has said that the ongoing investigation of an alleged billionaire drug baron, Chief Afam Mallinson Ukatu, has led to the discovery of how the suspect imported into Nigeria in a single month, October 2019, 2 containers containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with a market value of over N22 billion.
The reaction by the anti-drug agency was made on Tuesday May 3, to to counter insinuations by some hirelings that NDLEA has no evidence to pin a crime on Ukatu, who is the Chairman/CEO of Mallinson Group of companies.
Recall that Ukatu was eventually arrested on board a flight to Abuja on Wednesday April 13, at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja, after several months of surveillance.
This was made known in a press statement issued by the NDLEA and signed by its Director for Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday May 3, 2022, and can be seen on its official Twitter account.
NDLEA uncovers N22Billion worth of Tramadol imported by Ukatu pic.twitter.com/6h30GAtfpS
— NDLEA NIGERIA (@ndlea_nigeria) May 3, 2022
What the NDLEA spokesman is saying
The statement partly reads, “Investigations reveal he’s been a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg, all of which are illicit. Ukatu owns pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria.’’
NDLEA noted that in the course of investigating the N3 billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and Abba Kyari’s IRT team, its operatives have unearthed more evidence establishing how Ukatu has been importing large quantities of Tramadol far above the approved threshold allowed into the country.
It stated, ‘’In one instance, Ukatu through his Mallinson Group of companies imported into the country two-container loads of five different brands of Tramadol in October 2019 through the Apapa ports in Lagos.
‘’All the evidence so far gathered show that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria.
“No doubt the suspect will soon have his day in court.’’
In case you missed it
- The NDLEA under the administration of its current Chairman/Chief Executive, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, has rejuvenated its operations across the country and increased its tempo in its fight against drug trafficking and consumption and other related crimes with an increased number of seizures and arrests, especially the high profile ones.
- In its latest major operation, the NDLEA on April 25, 2022, announced the arrest of Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu, an alleged billionaire drug baron behind the N3 billion Tramadol deal linked to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, who is also undergoing prosecution.