Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a suspected billionaire drug baron.
He is behind the N3 billion Tramadol deal involving the embattled suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari-led Intelligence Response Team, (IRT), the Director, Media, and Advocacy of the NDLEA Femi Babafemi said in a statement on Monday.
Babafemi said that he “was eventually nabbed onboard a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja on Wednesday 13th April”.
He added: “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.”
“This is in addition to operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used to launder money.”
The suspect, according to Mr Babafemi, came under watch last year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on 4th May 2021 when he sent them to sell to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the then Kyari-led IRT of the Nigeria Police, Ikeja Lagos.
The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at N17 million each as against the then black market value that ranged between N18 million and N20 million a carton in Lagos, the NDLEA spokesman added.
He said after the arrest of one of his staff, Kyari’s men were then led by the suspects to his warehouse where 197 additional Cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized by the IRT Team.
The monetary value of the 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from him in one day was over N3 billion.
According to him, three weeks after the seizure, the Kyari’s IRT team transferred only 12 Cartons of the Tramadol with one truck and a suspect to the Lagos Command of the NDLEA, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.