NDLEA thwarts attempt to import 98 cartons of Tramadol pills worth N3.7bn

THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has thwarted an attempt to smuggle 98 cartons containing 5.1 million pills of Tramadol 225mg into Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.

The NDLEA estimated the street value of the consignment at N3.7 billion.

The agency, in a statement it issued on Sunday, July 23, signed by its spokesperson Femi Babafemi, said the success was achieved through the robust synergy between the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and NDLEA officers at the airport and the DHL cargo warehouse.

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


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The NDLEA stated that in another operation, its operatives stormed a hotel room in the Okota area of Lagos late on Friday, July 21 and arrested a “notorious drug kingpin” alleged to specialise in sponsoring young Nigerians to traffick class A drugs to Europe, especially Italy.

According to the agency, the suspect was arrested while preparing a recruited courier to swallow 93 pellets of cocaine meant for distribution in Italy.






     

     

    “The 48-year-old drug kingpin, Charles Uwagbale, had recruited Uju Dominic, 35, from his base in Italy with a deal to come to Nigeria, ingest 100 pellets of cocaine on Friday, July 21 and return to Italy on Saturday, July 22.

    Arrested Drug suspect Charles Uwagbale. Photo courtesy NDLEA.
    Arrested drug suspect Charles Uwagbale. Photo courtesy NDLEA.

    “True to plan, upon the arrival in Nigeria, the mule was lodged in Golden Heaven Hotel located at Enoma Street off Ago-Palace way, Okota, Isolo, Lagos, where Uwagbale brought 93 wraps of the Class A drug for him to swallow at about 23.45pm Friday night,” NDLEA said.

    The anti-narcotic agency added that the suspects were in the process when its operatives, who had been on their trail following credible intelligence, stormed their hotel room, arrested both, and recovered the drug exhibits with a total weight of 1.427 kilogrammes.

    The NDLEA, in a similar operation in Bauchi state, recovered over six million 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 at the Maiduguri Bye-Pass, Bauchi town on Wednesday, July 19.

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