Photo:The arrested drug baron suspect
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have recovered about 13, 451,466 pills of tramadol 225mh worth N8.9 bililon In street value in Lagos .
The Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi said this in a statement in Abuja.
Babafemi said that operatives of the agency had also arrested the suspected drug baron, Chukwukadibia Ugochukwu, in connection to the recovered drugs.
He said that the operatives raided one of the mansions of the suspect in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, Lekki area of Lagos.
He said that the arrest of Ugochukwu, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd was coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in the residence of another suspected drug kingpin in the estate.
The suspect Chris Nzewi, was arrested on Saturday, July 30, along with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who was said to have cooked the illicit drug for him.
At least, 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drugs were reportedly recovered from Nzewi’s home during his arrest.
Babafemi said that following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday, Sept. 30 stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin.
“A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg.
“This was in a carton which contained 13,451,466 pills of the drug, while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day, ” he said.
Babafemi said that before his arrest, Ugochukwu, who hails from Ihiala Local Government area of Anambra had been on the agency’s watch list.
The suspect, he said, was one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.
“Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC. one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in another one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and uses one as his office.
“Five exotic vehicles had also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bulletproof jeep had been successfully removed to the agency’s facility,” he said.
Reacting to the latest drug haul, the Chairman, NDLEA, retired, Brig.- Gen. Buba Marwa, commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence.
Marwa also appreciated Nigerians for supporting the agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
According to him, “I’ll like to reassure Nigerians and other stakeholders wherever they are located across the country.
“This assurance is coming beyond our preparedness to work with them on this onerous task of saving our people from the drug scourge.
“This partnership is a further warning to the drug barons and cartels that there is no hiding place for them anymore.
“This is because, we remain on their trail and we’ll always get them, “he said.