NDLEA Seizes N3.7b Tramadol, Other Drugs Worth Millions Nationwide

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has foiled attempts to smuggle 98 cartons containing 5,122,900 pills of Tramadol 225mg with an estimated street value of about N3.7 billion into Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State .

This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by agency.

The statement, endorsed by the Director of Media and Advocacy of the anti-narcotic agency, Femi Babafemi, said the feat was achieved through the robust synergy between operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service and NDLEA officers at the airport as well as those at the DHL cargo warehouse.

Babafemi said preliminary findings revealed that the consignments were imported from India and Pakistan, while some of the seized consignments had Freetown, Sierra Leone as final destination.

So also did operatives of the Lagos State Command of the NDLEA on July 20, 2023 raided Akala in Mushin area of the state where they recovered 37.5kg cannabis from the home of a fleeing suspect.

In the same vein, NDLEA operatives in Bauchi State have recovered a total of 6,265,080 pills of opioids from three suspects: Emmanuel Onyebuchi, 32; Uche Iyida, 33; and Chinedu Ezeanyim, 32, following their arrest alongside a truck driver and his assistant at a shopping complex, Maiduguri By-Pass, Bauchi town on July 19 and subsequent follow-up search of the residence of Iyida on July 21.

No fewer than 999,500 tablets of Exol-5 were also recovered by operatives from a shop close to the market at Hong Road, Gombi, Adamawa State on July 21, while 46,000 capsules of tramadol were seized from a suspect, Paul Ajaegbu, 36, along Owerri-Aba Road, Imo State on July 17.

Babafemi revealed that the same suspect had earlier been arrested on February 9, 2023 for the same offence.

In Ondo State, NDLEA operatives in their numbers stormed the Ofosu forest where they destroyed 29 hectares of cannabis farms on July 20, 2023.

The quartet of Osamezu George Chukwuemeka, 51, who owns the farm; his wife, Kate Osamezu, 43; Agboola Wasiu, 37; and Mustapha Sanni were arrested during the operation, while 118.5kg processed cannabis was recovered from the farm.

In another raid on the warehouse of a suspect at Elegbeka, Ose LGA of the state, not less than 107 jumbo bags of the same illicit substance weighing 1,132.5kg were recovered on July 17, 2023.

While operatives in Sokoto State arrested a suspect, Charles Nwankwo, 50, with 610kg of cannabis in Tamaje area of Sokoto on July 21, 2023, their counterparts in Yobe State also same day nabbed a fleeing suspect, Shaibu Musa, 29, in Dawasa, while he was offering them a bribe of N500,000 following the seizure of 36kg skunk in his house on July 19.

In Edo State, operatives on July 17, 2023 raided the Utese forest in Ovia North-East LGA where they arrested Victor Asukwo Jack with 59 bags of processed cannabis sativa weighing 640kg.

Jack’s two cannabis farms, measuring 1.489895 hectares and 2.445295 hectares, were destroyed.

Also, Endurance Chukwuma, 50, was arrested with seven bags of processed cannabis sativa weighing 68kg, while his cannabis farm measuring 0.254324 hectares was destroyed.

A total of 273kg cannabis was earlier intercepted in a Toyota Sienna vehicle marked RBC 451 CM on July 19, 2023 at Ogida, Benin City and a suspect, Lucky Oriakhi, 41, arrested, while operatives also seized 48,380 pills of tramadol in a commercial bus marked KAK 66 XA along Ewohimi Road, heading to Kabba, Kogi State and arrested the driver, Ibrahim John.

In Nasarawa, two suspects, Abubakar Suleiman, 30, and Shehu Garba (aka Shagari), 29, were arrested along Keffi-Akwanga Road on July 18, 2023 in a Peugeot J5 vehicle loaded with 1,608.4 kilograms of cannabis sativa.

The consignment was loaded in Edo State and meant for distribution in Bauchi State.

While a total of 1,556.1kg of cannabis was recovered from two suspects, Jonathan Nuhu, 54, and Mohammed Abubakar, 18, following their arrest at Wudil area of Kano State on July 20, 2023, 76kg of the same substance was seized from Yakubu Muhammad, 32, on July 17, 2023 along Okene/Lokoja Expressway in a trailer going from Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Kano State.

In the same vein, operatives in Ogun State on July 19, 2023 recovered 810 parcels of cannabis weighing 604kg from the house of one Adetunji Abiodun.

A fresh bid to smuggle into Nigeria another consignment of Colorado, a synthetic variant of cannabis, through the Tincan Port in Apapa, Lagos State was again on July 21, 2023 frustrated by NDLEA officers who discovered a total of 323 parcels of the illicit substance weighing 161.5kg concealed in one of the four used vehicles in a container marked MEDU 7519460 coming from Montreal, Canada, during a joint examination of the shipment.

At least three suspects are currently in NDLEA custody over the shipment, while a bribe of N20 million converted to $22,900 offered to operatives by the importer’s agents has also been recovered and documented as evidence.