July 13, 2024

NDLEA discovers N22bn worth of Tramadol imported by billionaire drug baron, Ukatu


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has said the ongoing investigation of a 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, two containers containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with a market value of over N22 billion.

The agency made this known in a statement by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday 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 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 reveal 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.

The NDLEA said that owns pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria.

The NDLEA explained that in the course of investigating the N3billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and the 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.

Babafemi stated that, 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.

According to him, all the evidence so far gathered showed that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria.

Babafemi said the suspect would soon be charged once the investigation is concluded.

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