How NDLEA Uncovered N8.8bn Tramadol in VGC
*Suspected drug baron arrested
Barely two months after the National Drug Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) uncovered a methamphetamine laboratory at the Victoria Garden City, Lekki, Lagos, operatives of the agency has recovered 13,451,466 Tramadol pills worth N8.8 billion in a mansion in the same highbrow residential estate.
A suspect, Ugochukwu Nsofor Chukwukadibia, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, has been arrested.
A statement by the NDLEA’s Director, Media & Advocacy, Femi Bavafemi, said following credible intelligence, operatives on Friday stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of a suspected 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin.
The suspect, Chukwukadibia, who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra state, had been on the NDLEA’s watch list as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.
The statement said a search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contained 13, 451, 466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day.
The agency said preliminary investigation showed that he had about six mansions within VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office.
“Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet jeep have been successfully removed to the Agency’s facility”, the statement said.
NDLEA Chairman, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), in his reaction, commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the Agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
“I’ll like to reassure Nigerians and other stakeholders wherever they are located across the country and beyond of 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, because we remain on their trail and we’ll always get them,” Marwa said.
NDLEA had on July 30 uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested along with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him.
At least, 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals for the production of the illicit drug were recovered from Nzewi’s home during his arrest.