...Recovers N8.9bn worth of tramadol in his mansion
By Kingsley Omonobi, Abuja
Barely two months after the Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in a highbrow residential estate at Victoria Garden City, Lekki area of Lagos, the agency has yet again recovered no fewer than 13,451,466 pills of tramadol 225mh worth N8.9 billion in street value from the same estate.
This time around, NDLEA operatives on Friday, September 30 stormed Plot A45 Road 2 home of a 52-year-old billionaire and Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, Chukwukadibia Ugochukwu, where the drugs were recovered.
Speaking on the seizure, yesterday, NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, said operatives of the agency had also arrested the suspected drug baron, Chukwukadibia Ugochukwu, in connection to the recovered drugs.
Babafemi said: “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.“
Babafemi said before his arrest, Ugochukwu, who hails from Ihiala Local Government area of Anambra State had been on the agency’s watch list. The suspect, he said, was one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.
He said: “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, of which two SUVs, including a bulletproof SUV had been successfully removed to the agency’s facility.”
It would be recalled that Nzewi was arrested on Saturday, July 30 with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who 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 drug were recovered from Nzewis’s home during his arrest.
Marwa lauds operatives
Reacting to the latest drug haul, Chairman, NDLEA, Brig.- Gen. Buba Marwa (retd), 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.“