OPERATIVES of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested the owner of a tramadol consignment that had caused a scuffle at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos state, in a viral video.
This was made known in a statement on January 21 by the NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi.
“NDLEA operatives on Friday 19th January, arrested one Okosun Paul Punitt, the consignee of a consignment of tramadol concealed in a bottle of dietary supplements, which a staff of Pathfinder International Ltd, Ajuzieogu Mac-Elvis Ugochukwu attempted sending through an intending passenger on Ibom Air to Accra, Ghana, at the Lagos airport on Tuesday 16th January.
“A video of the face-off between the passenger and Ajuzieogu later went viral after the vigilant passenger suspected the consignment contained illicit substances. Both Ajuzieogu and the exhibit were later transferred to NDLEA on Thursday, 18th January, by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN for investigation,” part of the statement read.
The statement noted that findings by the agency showed the parcel contained 50 pills of tramadol 225mg concealed in a bottle of dietary supplements and a follow-up operation by the agency led to the arrest of Punitt, who has confirmed ownership of the drug, upon his return from Ghana on Friday.
The statement added that the illicit drugs were seized between Thursday and Friday alongside arms and ammunition by operatives of different special units of the agency.
They include cocaine and colorado, a strong strain of cannabis, concealed in containerised household items and vehicles imported from Durban, South Africa and Canada at the Tincan Seaport in Lagos.
“Following coordinated intelligence and months of tracking of the containers by three special units of NDLEA, the illicit drugs along with arms, ammunition and sundry military effects were seized during joint examination of the three containers by the agency’s officers and their counterparts from Customs Service and other security agencies between Thursday 18th and Friday 19th January 2024. Some of the agency’s sniffer dogs were also deployed to help identify locations and bags used in concealing the illicit items.
‘Some of the items recovered from the containers include 1,274 parcels of cocaine and colorado with a total weight of 884.09 kilograms; four pistols; 197 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 49 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 275 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, 14 rounds of 9mm ammunition and sundry military personnel effects as well as some chemicals in kegs,” the statement added.
According to the NDLEA, a suspect linked to one of the containers bearing the 32.5kg colorado, 41-year-old Akara Chibugo, has already been tracked and arrested by NDLEA operatives.
It further highlighted the various interceptions in different parts of the country while noting that its advocacy campaign, the ‘war against drug abuse’ (WADA), had been stepped up in schools, markets, worship places and others across the country.