Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested businessman Afam Ukatu, over an alleged N3 billion tramadol deal linked to Abba Kyari, a suspended deputy commissioner of police (DCP).
The chairman of Mallinson group of companies was arrested on a flight to Abuja from Lagos airport on April 13, 2022, NDLEA said in a statement on Monday, April 25.
According to the statement, “Investigations revealed that he has been a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg, all of which are illicit.
Mr Ukatu owns pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria. This is in addition to operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used to launder money.
Mr Ukatu came under watch last year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on May 4, 2021 when he sent them to sell to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the then Kyari-led IRT of the Nigeria Police, Ikeja Lagos. .
The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at N17million each as against the then black market value that ranged between N18million and N20million a carton in Lagos. .
After the arrest of Mr Ukatu’s staff: Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Mr Kyaris men were then led by the suspects to Mallinson’s warehouse at Ojota in Lagos where 197 additional Cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized by the IRT Team. The monetary value of the 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from Mallinson in one day was over N3billion.
Three weeks after the seizure, the Kyaris IRT team transferred only 12 Cartons of the Tramadol with one truck and a suspect to the Lagos Command of the NDLEA, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.”