NDLEA Intercepts N22bn Worth of Tramadol


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA), has said it has   uncovered  the importation  into Nigeria, in a single month, October 2019 of  two containers, containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol, with market value of over N22billion.

It said in a Statement  on Tuesday , May 3, 2022 that it made the discovery during the  ongoing investigation of a billionaire drug baron, Chief Afam Mallinson Ukatu, to counter insinuations  that NDLEA has no evidence to pin a crime on Ukatu, who is the Chairman/CEO of Mallinson Group of companies.

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

Investigations revealed that he has  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.

The Agency said in the course of investigating the N3billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and the Abba Kyaris IRT team, its operatives have unearthed more evidences establishing how Ukatu has been importing large quantities of Tramadol far above the approved threshold allowed into the country.

NDLEA 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.

It said  all the evidences so far gathered show that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria.

The arrest of Mr Ukatu comes few months after the NDLEA took custody of the embattled deputy police commissioner who was earlier declared wanted by the agency.