Two suspected kingpins have been arrested as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) burst another Tramadol cartel in Lagos state.
Millions of opioids pills and bottles worth over N5 billion were seized by the NDLEA at a warehouse in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State.
This was confirmed in a statement issued on Sunday, January 15, 2023, by the agency spokesman, Femi Babafemi.
“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 Five Billion Naira (N5billion) from their warehouse in Amuwo Odofin area of the state and arrest of two of the kingpins,” he said.
Anti-narcotics officers also uncovered and dismantled a clandestine “skuchies” laboratory in a remote part of Sagamu, Ogun state where several pieces of equipment and various quantities of illicit substances used to mass produce the dangerous new psychoactive substance were recovered on Saturday.
Babafemi noted that the drug cartels took the first heat on Tuesday, January 10 January from determined officers who intercepted an imported consignment of Loud, a strong variant of cannabis, weighing 4, 878.72 kilograms along Awolowo road Ikoyi, Lagos.
He added that 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 11th January in the Idumota area of Lagos Island.
Last Friday, NDLEA operatives tracked and located a major warehouse for pharmaceutical opioids at 17 Sir Ben Onyeka Street, off Ago palace way in the Amuwo Odofin area of the state while the owner of the store, Aloysius Okeke was arrested.
Illicit drugs recovered from the warehouse include 3.2 million 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 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.
In Abuja, NDLEA operatives 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 comes as 756kgs of C/S were recovered at Dawo village, Kaga LGA, Borno, and transferred to the Agency on Friday 13th Jan. 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.
Similarly, operatives stormed Alayere, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, 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, 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.
Reacting to the arrests, the Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), charged officers and their compatriots across the country to sustain the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.
He also commended the officers and men of Lagos, FCT, Ondo, Enugu, Borno, Katsina, and Edo Commands for the arrests and seizures.