The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has disclosed how a drug baron, Chief Afam Mallinson Ukatu used a pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing company as a front to import illicit drugs, (Tramadol) worth N22bn into Nigeria in October 2019.
Mallinson who was linked to the suspended Deputy Commissioner Of Police, DCP Abba Kyari was arrested on Wednesday 13th April in Lagos on board a flight to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
According to a statement issued by NDLEA’s Director on Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Tuesday, in Abuja, he noted that in the course of the investigation, the Agency discovered the tramadol saga between Ukatu and Abba Kyari’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT team.
Babafemi disclosed that investigations unveiled how Ukatu, who is the Chairman/CEO of Mallinson Group of companies used pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies to ship large consignments of different brands, and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg, and 250mg into Nigeria in one month.
“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 has 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 Agency said in the course of investigating the N3billion Tramadol saga between Ukatu and the Abba Kyari’s IRT team, its operatives have unearthed more evidence establishing how Ukatu has been importing large quantities of Tramadol far above the approved threshold allowed into the country.
In one instance, Ukatu through his Mallinson Group of companies imported into the country two-container loads of five different brands of Tramadol in October 2019 through the Apapa ports in Lagos. All the evidence so far gathered shows that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria.
No doubt the suspect will soon have his day in court” the statement said.