The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency 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 NDLEA made this known in a statement signed by its Director, Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday in response to claims that there was not enough evidence to charge Ukatu.
According to the agency, the ongoing investigation into the activities of Ukatu led to the discovery of how he imported two containers of Tramadol within a month as far back as 2019.
“Investigations reveal 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.
“In the course of investigating the N3billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and the Abba Kyari’s 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 show that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria,” the statement read in part.
The NDLEA, however, added that with all the evidence against the detained businessman, he would soon have his day in court.