The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has said that 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 October 2019, two containers bearing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with market value of over N22 Billion.
The Agency stated this in a statement on Tuesday (3rd May) to counter insinuations that the Agency has no evidence to pin any crime on Ukatu, 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.
A statement by the Agency’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi said Investigations reveal Ukatu 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 the Agency claims he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria.
The Agency said in the course of investigating, the N3 Billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and the Abba Kyaris 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.
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. All the evidence so far gathered shows that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria.
The Agency said Ukalu will soon have his day in court.