Crime Headline Local News Nigeria

7 arrested for importing over 1 million Tramadol tabs

A fleeing drug kingpin heading a syndicate operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos and 6 other members of his gang have been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The Lagos airport drug syndicate was behind the smuggling of 1,584,000 tablets of Tramadol seized on Tuesday March 15 by NDLEA operatives in collaboration with Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Customs service personnel at the airport.

The seizure according to NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, includes 17 cartons of 250mg Tramadol branded as “Tamra” weighing 669.70kg and five cartons of 225mg Tramadol under the brand name “Royal” with a gross weight of 217.15kg.

He says, the psychotropic substance, which was imported into the country from Pakistan was smuggled through the airport tarmac using one of the vehicles of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) and was intercepted at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Personnel Yard.

“Two suspects: Ofijeh John Mowa, a SAHCO driver and Nyam Gazu Alex who are security guards with the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) were initially arrested in connection with the seizure”.

Further investigations by NDLEA however led to the arrest of 5 other persons involved in the crime including the ringleader, Yunana Fidelis who fled Lagos to Kaduna the moment their lid was blown open. Others include; Adesanwo Temitope; Owoseni Taiwo Temidayo; Fasoranti Shola and Bamigbade Jonathan.

Yunana Fidelis who is also a staff of NAHCO had escaped and fled to Kaduna after depositing ₦19,800,000 cash with a BDC operator to be paid later into his bank account.

“After tracking him for days in Kaduna, on Friday 25th Fidelis relocated to Abuja where he was eventually arrested by NDLEA operatives at 7pm on Sunday 27th March while he was trying to collect ₦1,000,000 cash from an undercover agent who posed as a BDC operator. In addition to recovering the cash Fidelis deposited with the BDC operator in Lagos, the Agency had also placed a post no debit order on his identified bank accounts”, Mr Babafemi explained.

Meanwhile, a professional methamphetamine (Mkpuru Mmiri) cook, Reuben Bekweri, 34, has been arrested in Owerri while trying to distribute a kilogram of the illicit drug he cooked and packaged in seven nylon sachets in the Irete Area, Imo State on Saturday March 26.

Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; editing by Muzha Kucha