Drug baron, Ukatu, imported N22bn worth of Tramadol in one month – NDLEA

THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has discovered two containers containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with a market value of over N22 billion imported by Afam Mallinson Ukatu, the billionaire drug baron involved in Abba Kyari’s N3 billion drug deal.

In a statement by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media and Advocacy, the NDLEA said an ongoing investigation revealed how Ukatu imported the drug into Nigeria in October 20119.

The NDLEA said the information was released to counter insinuations by some hirelings that the agency has no evidence to pin a crime on Ukatu, the Chairman/CEO of Mallinson Group of companies.

“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,” the NDLEA said.

The agency added that in the course of investigating the N3 billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and the Abba Kyari’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), its operatives unearthed more pieces of 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 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.

“No doubt the suspect will soon have his day in court,” the statement added.

The ICIR reported that the NDLEA arrested Ukatu over an alleged N3 billion Tramadol deal involving the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari at MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja, on April 13, 2022.

According to the Agency, Ukatu was apprehended after months of surveillance, during which he evaded arrest. 

    A report by the ICIR shows that Ukatu is the founder of the Mallison Group of companies consisting of Nispo Porcelain Company Limited, Nispo Pharmaceuticals Limited, Nispo Oil and Gas Services, and Nispo Plastics & Metals Limited.

    Besides his ownership of Mallison Companies, Ukatu is a Director in several companies in Nigeria.

    He is a Director of the Urban Space Services, Alor Microfinance Bank Limited, and Hammer Guards and Safety Solution Limited.

    He is also reported to be a Director in Cowry Assets and Management, a Director at Master Energy Oil & Gas Limited, and Alor Microfinance Bank Limited.

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