Abba Kyari: Drug baron imported N22bn tramadol, says NDLEA

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The ongoing probe of a suspected drug baron, Chief Afam Ukatu, has led to the discovery of how the suspect allegedly imported into Nigeria two containers containing 1,284 cartons of tramadol with a market value of over N22bn.

A spokesperson for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this on Tuesday in a statement he issued to counter insinuations that the agency had no evidence against Ukatu.

Babafemi said, “After months of surveillance, Ukatu was eventually arrested onboard a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja, on Wednesday, 13th April. 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.”

According to him, in the course of investigating the N3bn tramadol saga between Ukatu and the Abba Kyari’s IRT team, operatives unearthed more evidence confirming how Ukatu was importing large quantities of tramadol far above the approved threshold allowed into the country.

He said, “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. The evidence so far gathered shows 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.”

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