The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said that ongoing investigation of alleged 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 market value of over N22 billion.
The Agency stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by its Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi.
The statement, according to Babafemi, was to counter insinuations by some hirelings that the NDLEA has no evidence to pin a crime on Ukatu, who is the Chairman/CEO of Mallinson Group of companies.
After months of surveillance, Babafemi said, Ukatu was eventually arrested on board a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja on April 13.
Investigations by the NDLEA, the statement said, revealed he has been a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg to 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 NDLEA spokesman said.
The agency said in the course of investigating the N3 billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, then under Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, 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 show that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria, Babafemi said.
He added: “No doubt the suspect will soon have his day in court.”