The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has intercepted 2, 465, 000 tablets of tramadol with an estimated street value of N1.4 bn.
The drugs were intercepted at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos on Friday 7th October barely a week after about 13.5m pills of the same opioid worth over N8.8bn were recovered by NDLEA operatives from one of the mansions of a billionaire drug baron in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, VGC, Lekki Lagos.
In a statement, the spokesman of the NDLEA, Mr. Femi Babafemi, says the interception follows credible intelligence, which prompted the Agency to show interest in the consignment of 52 cartons that came into Nigeria from Karachi, Pakistan with six different airway bills via Ethiopian Airline flight, comprising seven cartons of 250mg of a brand called tamral and 45 cartons of 225mg, branded as tramaking.
According to the statement, NDLEA called for a joint examination of the consignment with other stakeholders immediately it arrived the Lagos Airport, and after its information 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.
The statement explains that the NDLEA also intercepted another 15 parcels of cannabis and 600grams of tramadol 225mg concealed in a sack of crayfish to Dubai, UAE and arrested a freight agent, Osahor Alex Ekwueme, who presented it for export.
Giving further breakdown of seizures, Mr. Babafemi says, weeks after NDLEA operatives 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, has been arrested in Igando area of Lagos.
He says 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.
The statement adds that 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 bid.
Writing by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade/Annabel Nwachukwu