NDLEA uncovers N22b worth of Tramadol by billionaire drug baron


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has announced that an ongoing investigation into a billionaire drug baron, Chief Afam Mallinson Ukatu, has led to the discovery of how the suspect imported into Nigeria in a single month, October 2019, two containers containing 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with a market value of more than N22 billion.

The Agency announced this in a statement issued on Tuesday, May 3rd, in response to allegations made by some hirelings that the NDLEA lacks evidence to charge Ukatu, the Chairman/CEO of the Mallinson Group of Companies.

Recall that after months of surveillance, Ukatu was eventually arrested on board a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja on Wednesday 13th April.

“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 statement said.

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The Agency stated that while probing the N3billion Tramadol issue involving Ukatu and Abba Kyari’s IRT team, its investigators discovered fresh evidence indicating how Ukatu has been importing enormous amounts of Tramadol much beyond the permitted threshold allowed into the nation.

In one case, Ukatu’s Mallinson Group of enterprises smuggled two-container loads of five distinct brands of Tramadol into the nation in October 2019 via the Apapa ports in Lagos.

All data obtained thus far indicates that the smuggled Tramadol brands were significantly beyond the authorized threshold for importation into Nigeria.

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