NDLEA Uncovers N22bn Tramadol Allegedly Imported by Billionare

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has found how Chief Afam Mallinson Ukatu, a reputed billionaire drug baron, allegedly brought two containers containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol into Nigeria.

The same Ukatu was previously identified by the NDLEA as the mastermind behind a N3 billion Tramadol shipment related to Abba Kyari, the former police chief.

The pharmaceuticals were imported in a single month, October 2019, with a market value of nearly N22 billion, according to the agency’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi.

“To counter insinuations by some hirelings that NDLEA has no evidence to put a crime on Ukatu, who is the Chairman/CEO of Mallinson Group of firms,” Babafeni said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, Ukatu was apprehended on board a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja, on Wednesday, April 13th, after months of surveillance.

“The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has said that an 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,” according to the full statement.

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The Agency announced this in a statement on Tuesday, May 3rd, in response to claims made by some hirelings that the NDLEA lacks evidence to charge Ukatu, the Chairman/CEO of the Mallinson Group of firms, with a crime. On Wednesday, April 13th, after months of observation, Ukatu was apprehended on board a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja.

He was a big importer of large consignments of various brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg, and 250mg, all of which are illegal, according to investigations. Ukatu owned pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing businesses that he exploited to smuggle illegal substances into Nigeria.

The Agency said its operatives have uncovered more evidence indicating how Ukatu has been importing enormous quantities of Tramadol much above the permitted threshold allowed into the country while probing the N3billion Tramadol controversy between Ukatu and the Abba Kyaris IRT team.

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In one case, Ukatu’s Mallinson Group of enterprises brought two-conatiner cargoes of five distinct brands of Tramadol into the country through the Apapa docks in Lagos in October 2019. All of the data acquired thus far indicates that the smuggled Tramadol brands were much beyond the authorized threshold for importation into Nigeria.

“No doubt the suspect will soon have his day in court.”

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