NDLEA INTERCEPTS TRAMADOL PILLS AT LAGOS AIRPORT AS NOTORIOUS DRUG KINGPIN GETS 7 YEARS IN JAIL
Attempts by drug cartel to smuggle into the country an estimated N1.04 billion worth of tramadol has been foiled by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Also foiled was an attempt by traffickers to smuggled a consignment of 1.30 kilogrammes of cannabis concealed in reconstructed engine blocks to Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
A statement on Sunday by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi said desperate attempts by the tramadol drug cartel to smuggle into Nigeria over 2,465,000 tablets of the pharmaceutical opioid in 225mg and 250mg, weighing 2,356 kilogrammes with an estimated street value of N1,040,000,000 through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos was foiled by operatives of the anti-narcotics agency.
Babafemi, while noting that the seizure of the drug last Friday came barely a week after about 13.5 million pills of the same opioid worth over N8.8 billion were recovered by NDLEA operatives from one of the mansions of a billionaire drug baron in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, VGC, Lekki Lagos.
He said following credible intelligence, the agency had shown interest in the consignment of 52 cartons that came into Nigeria from Karachi, Pakistan with six different airway bills via Ethiopian Airline flight, comprising seven cartons of 250mg of a brand called tamral and 45 cartons of 225mg, branded as tramaking.
He disclosed that soon after its arrival at the Lagos airport, the NDLEA called for a joint examination of the consignment with other stakeholders and after the suspicion was confirmed by all, the 52 cartons of the seized substance which are above the recommended threshold for medical use and banned in the country, were moved to the agency’s facility.
The spokesman said, in the same vein, another bid to export through the airport 15 parcels of cannabis and 600 grammes of tramadol 225mg concealed in a sack of crayfish to Dubai, UAE was equally thwarted by operatives who seized the consignment and subsequently arrested a freight agent, Osahor Ekwueme, who presented it for export.
Babafemi said weeks after NDLEA operatives intercepted 5.2 kilogrammes of cannabis concealed in kegs of palm oil going to Dubai at the NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport, the brain behind the consignment, Ifeanyi Egbuwaohia, has been arrested in Igando area of Lagos.
He said though Ifeanyi works as a technician at Computer Village, Ikeja but beneath his known business is his connection with a drug network in Dubai, where he sends illicit drugs for distribution.
He revealed that few hours after his arrest, another consignment of 2.6 kilogrammes of the same substance sent by him for export to Dubai was also intercepted by operatives at the airport.
Another consignment of 1.3 kilogrammes of cannabis concealed in reconstructed engine blocks going to Dubai have also been seized at the SAHCO export shed while two persons: Olatunji Temiola and Osemojoye Sunday have been arrested in connection to the bid.
In clampdowns across the country, in Kaduna state, a female drug dealer, Peace Ayuba, was last Friday arrested at Kakau Gonin Gora with 78 bags of cannabis sativa weighing 849.5 kilogrammes, while operatives in Sokoto state arrested Onyeka Owo, 28, with 443 bottles of codeine based syrup.
Babafemi also disclosed that 10 months after his arrest by NDLEA, a notorious drug dealer in Alaba Rago area of Ojo, Lagos, Alhaji Surajo Mohammed has been convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Yellin
He said Surajo was arrested with 941.15 kilogrammes cannabis on Monday 20th December 2021 and arraigned in court in charge number FHC/L/370c/2021. In his judgment delivered last Thursday the Judge however gave the convict an option of seven million naira fine.
Meanwhile, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) while commending the officers and men of the MMIA, Kaduna, Sokoto and Lagos commands for their feat, urged them and their compatriots across the country to remain steadfast, resolute and unrelenting until the last gramme of illicit drugs is taken away from the streets of Nigeria.