NDLEA uncovers N22bn worth of Tramadol imported by drug baron


By Yomi Kareem

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has said it uncovered how a suspected billionaire drug baron, Chief Afam Mallinson Ukatu, imported 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with a market value of over N22 billion.

The Agency made this known in a statement on Tuesday, in response to claims that there was not enough evidence to charge Ukatu, who is the Chairman/CEO of Mallinson Group of companies.

According to the Agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, 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.

He explained that investigations revealed he’s 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 Kyari’s 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.

The Agency in the statement maintained 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. All the evidence so far gathered shows that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria.