NDLEA, Customs seize 9.5 million tramadol, N5bn narcotics

NDLEA, Customs seize 9.5 million tramadol, N5bn narcotics

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Sunday said it seized over 9.5 million tablets of pharmaceutical opioids (tramadol and exol-5), worth over N5bn.

The drugs were reportedly seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos; Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The spokesman for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, who disclosed this in a statement, said the seizures were made by the agency and the Nigeria Customs Service.

Babafemi said, “Of the figure, 214 cartons of tramadol 225 under 10 different brand names, which translate to 9,219,400 tablets weighing 6, 384.5kg, with an estimated street value of N4,609,700,000, were transferred on Tuesday, March 29, alongside 85 cartons of dried Khat leaves, with a total weight of 1,327.35kg by the Nigeria Customs to the MMIA Command of the NDLEA as a symbol of the synergy between the two law enforcement agencies.

“In Abuja, about 228,740 tablets and capsules of tramadol and exol-5 were intercepted on Friday, April 1, at the Abaji area of the FCT. The truck conveying the drugs was loaded in Lagos heading for Kano. Though the truck driver escaped into the bush during the search of the vehicle, two of his assistants, Usman Abdulmumini, 23, and Aminu Ahmad, 22, were arrested.

“At the Port Harcourt International Airport, a Brazilian returnee, Michael Nnanna, 39, was arrested during the inward screening of passengers onboard a Qatar airline flight QR1433 from Doha to Port Harcourt on Tuesday, March 29. Nnanna, who hails from Ekwusigo, Anambra State, was arrested with 73 sachets weighing 8.15 kilogrammes of cocaine, which is the largest seizure of such at the airport since it began international flight operations years ago.”

Babafemi said during the preliminary interview, Nnanna said he departed Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sunday at midnight en route Qatar to Port Harcourt.

“He claimed an unidentified person in Sao Paulo gave him six bed sheets in which the drug was concealed, to deliver to another unidentified person at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.

“The 73 cocaine sachets were hidden in 4×1 feet factory sewn colourful bed sheets. Five of the bed sheets contain 12 sachets each, while the sixth bed sheet contains 13 sachets,” the agency’s spokesman said.

He noted that an immediate follow-up operation led to the arrest of 50-year-old Monday Alaisu, who travelled from Lagos to pick up the drug from Nnenna.

“He was arrested at the airport’s car park where he was waiting to receive Nnenna with the latter’s photograph taken at the Brazilian airport and his international passport’s data page in his hand,” Babafemi said.

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