NDLEA dismantles Tramadol cartel, seizes N5 billion Opioids in Lagos
•Recovers seven tons of skunk in Borno, Ondo, Edo, Enugu, Katsina, FCT
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the weekend busted another Tramadol cartel in Lagos with the seizure of millions of opioids pills and bottles worth over N5billion from their warehouse in Amuwo Odofin area of the state and arrested two of the kingpins.
The anti-narcotics officers of the agency also uncovered and dismantled a clandestine skuchies laboratory in Sagamu, Ogun State where several equipment and illicit substances used to mass produce the dangerous new psychoactive substance were recovered on Saturday January 14, 2023.
According to Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, the drug cartels took the first heat on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, from officers of the agency who intercepted an imported consignment of a strong variant of cannabis, Loud, weighing 4,878.72 kilograms along Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. After a near-fatal encounter with some suspected fake security agents escorting the drugs, the NDLEA operatives succeeded in recovering the consignment with a white truck marked BDG 548 XX conveying it.
This was followed by the seizure of 121,630 pills of pharmaceutical opioids and some quantity of Molly from a dealer, Charles Okeke on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, in Idumota area of Lagos Island.
On Friday, January 13, 2023, the operatives tracked and located a major warehouse for pharmaceutical opioids at 17, Sir Ben Onyeka Street, off Ago Palace Way in Amuwo Odofin area of the state while the owner of the store, Aloysius Okeke was arrested.
Illicit drugs recovered from the warehouse include 3,264,630 pills of tramadol, 3,490 bottles of codeine and 915,000 capsules of pregabalin 300mg.
This came on the heels of the arrest of a suspect, Olarenwaju Lawal Wahab who distributes for the cartel the same day. Recovered from his white Mercedes distribution bus includes 14,690 bottles of codeine-based syrup; 402,500 tablets of Tramadol 250mg; 50,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg and 210,000 capsules of pregabalin 300mg.
In neighbouring Ogun state, operatives in the early hours of Saturday, January 14, 2023 also discovered and dismantled a clandestine laboratory on the outskirts of Sagamu from where skuchies, a highly potent psychoactive substance made with a blend of Cannabis Sativa, Tramadol, Rohypnol, Exol-5 and industrial codeine, was being produced in large quantity, packaged and distributed in jerry cans and bottles.All the equipment for the production including power generators, industrial gas cylinders, drums and kegs as well as various quantities of illicit drugs such as 214kgs cannabis; 1,440 capsules of tramadol; 480 tablets of swinol; 1,440 tablets of Rohypnol and 114 litres of industrial codeine, among others were recovered from the building before sealing off the premises.
In Abuja, operatives of the FCT Command of the agency on Thursday, January 12, 2023, raided the notorious Tora Bora Hills and recovered 350.7kgs of skunk and 794 bottles of codeine hidden under rocks. This is even as 756kgs of C/S were recovered at Dawo village, Kaga LGA, Borno and transferred to the agency on Friday, January 13, 2023 by officers of the Nigerian Army, FOB 29 Task Force Brigade, Benishiekh, in conjunction with Hunters group, based on intelligence from the State Command of NDLEA.
In Ondo State, operatives stormed Alayere, Akure North LGA, where they arrested a suspect, Sunday Make with 275kgs of Cannabis Sativa and Seeds, while a total of 272kgs of C/S were recovered from two suspects: 35-year-old Nwele Friday, and 47-year-old Egbe Nnaemeka, at Ifo layout, Abakpa Nike, Enugu.
In Katsina, 34.3kgs of cannabis were also recovered from an uncompleted building in Muduru, Mani village after which the owner, Murtala Isiya was arrested in a follow up operation. In the same vein, a notorious drug dealer who is physically challenged, Abiodun Emaria, 40, was on Saturday 14th January arrested with 6.2kgs of cannabis at his hideout in Ohada village, Uhunmonde LGA, Edo State.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), while commending the officers for the arrests and seizures, charged them to sustain the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.