N3bn Tramadol Deal: NDLEA Arrests Billionaire Drug Baron Ukatu

Afam Williamson Emmanuel Ukatu

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested billionaire drug baron, Chief Afam Williamson Emmanuel Ukatu.

Ukatu’s arrest was disclosed Monday, 25 April, by the NDLEA Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Babafemi.

TheFact Nigeria reports that Ukatu, the kingpin behind the N3bn Tramadol deal involving the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari-led Intelligence Response Team, IRT, was nabbed on board a flight to Abuja at the Murtala Mohammed (MM2) terminal of the Lagos Airport, Ikeja, on Wednesday, 13 April, 2022, after several months of surveillance and evading arrest.

Investigations reveal that Ukatu, Chairman of Mallinson Group of Companies, had been a major importer of large consignements of different brands and dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging between 120mg and 250mg, all of which were illicit.

Ukatu is also known to own pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into the country. In addition to this, he is known to operate 103 bank accounts, most of which were used to launder money.

Ukatu came under the watch of the NDLEA last year after 5 cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on 4 May, 2021. The staff had been sent by Ukatu to sell the illicit drugs to police officers who, unknown to him, were operating undercover. The undercover cops were from the Kyari-led IRT of the Ikeja, Lagos Command of the Nigeria Police.

The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at 17m each, as against the then black market value, which ranged between 18m and 20m naira.

After the arrest of Ukatu’s staff, Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Kyari’s men were then led by the suspects to Mallinson’s warehouse at Ojota in Lagos where 197 more cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized by the IRT team. The monetary value of the entire 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from Mallinson in one day was put at over 3bn naira.

Three weeks after the seizure, the Kyari-led IRT team transfered to the Lagos Command of the NDLEA only 12 cartons of the illicit drugs with a truck, along with a suspect, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.

It is noted that Kyari and four top members of his team are currently facing trial for a different but similar offense at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Previous articleAfrica Recorded 216m Malaria Cases In 2021 -WHO
Next articlePresidency To U.S Experts: Despite Division Prediction, Nigeria Remains Strong, United, Prosperous

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.