Personnel of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have intercepted no fewer than 2,750,000 tablets of Tramadol 225mg weighing 1,650 kilograms worth N1,375,000,000 at the Apapa seaport in Lagos.
The PUNCH gathered that the consignment, packed in 55 cartons of Tapentadol and Carisoprodol types of Tramadol, was seized during the examination of a container, numbered: SUDU 7538656 on Saturday, July 30, following credible intelligence.
This comes on the heels of similar efforts by anti-narcotic officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja that thwarted bids by drug traffickers to export various psychoactive substances to London – the United Kingdom, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates through the Lagos airport in the past week, leading to the arrest of at least five suspects in connection to the attempts so far.
A statement by the anti-narcotics agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, read, “On Monday, July 25, a Dubai, UAE-bound passenger one Ms Ebhodaghei Osenemeshen was intercepted during the outward clearance of travellers on Rwanda Air via Kigali to Dubai. Discovered in her luggage were sachets of Tramadol 225mg concealed inside gari, a cassava product packed among other foodstuffs.
“She, however, claimed that the bag was given to her by someone who she passed the night in his house before coming to the airport to help deliver it to another person in Dubai. The following day, Tuesday, July 26, a total of 50 blocks of cannabis Sativa with a total weight of 27.1kg concealed inside a large quantity of crayfish going to London, UK as part of a consolidated cargo were seized at the SAHCO export shed.
“The same day, a Dubai-bound female passenger, Rachel Emebradu, was arrested with 1.8kg cannabis packed inside bitter leaf in her luggage while attempting to board a Rwanda Air flight to UAE via Kigali. The mother of one who hails from Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State said she was into selling men’s wear before she decided to travel to Dubai to expand her clothing business. She claimed her ex-boyfriend that lives in Dubai, requested her to bring the bag containing the illicit substance along with foodstuff.”
In the same vein, personnel at the NAHCO import shed of the airport on Saturday, July 30, evacuated cartons of khat leaf with a total weight of 51.50kg. The consignment had earlier come in from Sierra Leone on a Royal Air Moroc flight.
In Adamawa state, four notorious drug dealers in Konkol and Belel, two villages at Nigeria – Cameroon border have been arrested for exporting and retailing Tramadol and importing Diazepam into the country. The suspects include Kabiru Ahmadu; Eric Emil; Abdulmumini Bapetel and Alphonsus Yusuf.
A total of 59.018kg of Tramadol, Diazepam, Exol-5, Cannabis Sativa and two jerry cans of formalin substance (Suck & Die) were recovered from them.
In Kebbi, no less than 4,010 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized on Friday, July 29, when a commercial vehicle with registration number Sokoto RBA 220 XA was intercepted along Yawuri – Kebbi road and two suspects: Muktar Yunusa, 26 and Lukman Aliyu, 30, arrested. Similarly, a raid operation in the Oko-Olowo area of Ilorin on Tuesday 26th July led to the arrest of Onaolapo Zakariyau, 50, with 79kg of Cannabis Sativa.
Also in Abuja, no fewer than 90 blocks of cannabis (48.2kg) and 700grams of methamphetamine were intercepted at the Jabi motor park while at least a suspect has been arrested in connection with the drug exhibits. And in Kano, 51 suspects were arrested in a raid at Sky restaurant in the Nasarawa area of the state on Friday, July 29. The suspects were caught with various quantities of cannabis and codeine-based cough syrup.
Reacting to the arrests and seizures, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), commended the NDLEA operatives at Apapa seaport, MMIA, Adamawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Kano, and the FCT Commands for their vigilance and commitment.
He also urged personnel across the country not to rest in their efforts but to remain resolute in pursuit of the Agency’s goal of ridding Nigeria of illicit substances.