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NDLEA busts another Tramadol cartel, seizes N5bn worth of opioids

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) busted another Tramadol cartel in Lagos State, seizing millions of opioids pills and bottles worth over…

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) busted another Tramadol cartel in Lagos State, seizing millions of opioids pills and bottles worth over N5bn from their warehouse in Amuwo Odofin and arresting two of the kingpins. 

This is even as anti-narcotics officers of the agency also uncovered and dismantled a clandestine skuchies laboratory in a remote part of Sagamu, Ogun State, where several equipment and various quantities of illicit substances used to mass produce the dangerous new psychoactive substance were recovered on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

Spokesman of the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, who spoke in Abuja on Sunday, said the drug cartels took the first heat on January 10 from determined officers of the agency who intercepted an imported consignment of “Loud“, a strong variant of cannabis, weighing 4,878.72kgs along Awolowo road Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to him, 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.

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“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, at Idumota area of Lagos Island,” Babafemi revealed.

He added, “Another effort by the agency to bring the drug cartels to their kneels paid off on Friday, January 13, when operatives tracked and located a major warehouse of 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.”

He said the 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 comes on the heels of the arrest of a suspect, Olarenwaju Lawal Wahab, who distributes for the cartel. Recovered from his white Mercedes distribution bus include 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.

Meanwhile, in Ogun State, NDLEA operatives, in the early hours of Saturday, January 14, 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 raided the notorious Tora Bora Hills on Thursday, January 12, 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, by officers of the Nigerian Army, FOB 29 Task Force Brigade, Benishiekh, in conjunction with Hunter’s 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 — Nwele Friday, 35, and Egbe Nnaemeka, 47 — at Ifo layout, Abakpa Nike, Enugu.

In Katsina State, 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, January 14, arrested with 6.2kgs of cannabis at his hideout in Ohada village, Uhunmonde LGA, Edo State.

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