The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have foiled up attempts by a tramadol drug cartel to smuggle into Nigeria 2,465,000 tablets of the pharmaceutical opioid in 225mg and 250mg into the country.
A statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the illicit drug, weighing about 2,356kgs with an estimated street value of N1,040,000,000, were seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos.
The seizure of the drug on Friday October 7 came barely a week after about 13.5million pills of the same opioid worth over N8.8billion were recovered by NDLEA. The pills were recovered by operatives from one of the mansions of a billionaire drug baron in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, VGC, Lekki Lagos.
Following credible intelligence, the agency showed interest in the consignment of 52 cartons that came into Nigeria from Karachi, Pakistan with six different airway bills via Ethiopian Airline flight. They each comprised about seven cartons of 250mg of a brand called tamral and 45 cartons of 225mg, branded as tramaking.
After its arrival at the Lagos airport, the NDLEA called for a joint examination of the consignment with other stakeholders and its content was confirmed by all. The 52 cartons of the seized substance, which are above the recommended threshold for medical use and banned in the country, were moved to the agency’s facility.
Similarly, another bid to export through the airport 15 parcels of cannabis and 600grams of tramadol 225mg concealed in a sack of crayfish to Dubai, UAE was equally thwarted by operatives who seized the consignment and subsequently arrested a freight agent, Osahor Alex Ekwueme, who had presented it for export.
NDLEA operatives also intercepted 5.20kgs of cannabis concealed in kegs of palm oil going to Dubai at the NAHCO export shed of the airport. The brain behind the consignment, Ifeanyi Egbuwaohia, was arrested in Igando area of Lagos.
Though it was revealed that Ifeanyi works as a technician at Computer Village, Ikeja but beneath his known business he also works with a drug network in Dubai, where he sends illicit drugs for distribution. Few hours after his arrest, another consignment of 2.60kgs of the same substance sent by him for export to Dubai was also intercepted by operatives at the airport.
Another consignment of 1.30kgs of cannabis concealed in reconstructed engine blocks going to Dubai have also been seized at the SAHCO export shed while two persons: Olatunji Kehinde Temiola and Osemojoye Femi Sunday have been arrested in connection to the attempt to fly the drugs out of the country.