Two million, seven hundred and fifty thousand tablets of Tramadol (225 milligrams) weighing 1,650 kilogrammes and worth N1.375 billion has been intercepted at the Apapa Port, Lagos by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The agency said the consignment, packed in 55 cartons of Tapentadol and Carisoprodol types of Tramadol, was seized during examination of a container, Number SUDU 7538656 on Saturday, following credible intelligence.
The development was contained in a press release issued on Sunday by the Director of Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Femi Babafemi, and made available to journalists.
The development also followed similar efforts by anti-narcotic officers that thwarted bids by drug traffickers to export various psychoactive substances to London, United Kingdom (UK) and Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) through the Lagos Airport in the past week.
The NDLEA director of media further disclosed that, at least, five suspects had been arrested in connection with all the attempts.
“On Monday, 25 July, a Dubai, UAE-bound passenger, Ms. Ebhodaghei Gloria Osenemeshen, was intercepted during the outward clearance of travellers on Rwanda Air, via Kigali to Dubai.
“Discovered in her luggage were sachets of Tramadol 225 mg concealed inside garri, a cassava product packed among other foodstuffs.
“She, however, claimed that the bag was given to her by someone in whose house she passed the night before coming to the airport to help
deliver it to another person in Dubai.
“The following day, Tuesday, 26 July, a total of 50 blocks of cannabis sativa with a total weight of 27.1 kilogrammes, concealed inside large
quantity of crayfish going to London, UK as part of a consolidated cargo, were seized at the SAHCO Export Shed.
“Same day, a Dubai-bound female passenger, Emebradu Previous Rachael, was arrested with 1.8 kilogrammes cannabis packed inside bitter leaf in her luggage while attempting to board 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 of men’s
wears before she decided to travel to Dubai to expand her clothing business.
“She claimed that her former boyfriend that lives in Dubai requested her to bring the bag containing the illicit substance along with
foodstuff,” Babafemi stated in the release.
He also disclosed that in the same vein, operatives at the NAHCO Import Shed of the airport, on Saturday, evacuated cartons of khat
leaf with a total weight of 51.50 kilogrammes and which had earlier come in from Sierra Leone on a Royal Air Moroc flight.
He added that in Adamawa State, four notorious drug dealers in Konkol and Belel, two villages at the Nigeria-Cameroon border, have been arrested for exporting and retailing Tramadol and importing Diazepam into the country.
Babafemi stated that the four suspects included Kabiru Ahmad, Eric Emil, Abdulmumini Bapetel and Alphonsus Yusuf.
“A total of 59.018 kilogrammes Tramadol, Diazepam, Exol-5, Cannabis Sativa and two jerry cans of formalin substance (also known as Suck and Die) were recovered from them.
“In Kebbi State, no less than 4,010 ampoules of Pentazocine injection were seized last Friday, when a commercial vehicle with registration
number SOKOTO RBA 220 XA was intercepted along Yawuri – Kebbi Road. Two suspects, Muktar Yunusa (26) and Lukman Aliyu (30), arrested.
“Similarly, a raid operation in Oko-Olowo area of Ilorin, Kwara State, last Tuesday, led to the arrest of Onaolapo Zakariyau (50) with 79
kilogrammes cannabis sativa.
“Also in Abuja, no fewer than 90 blocks of cannabis (48.2 kilogrammes) and 700 grammes 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 Nasarawa area of the state, last Friday. The suspects were caught with various quantities of cannabis and codeine-based cough syrup,” Babafemi added.
He said while reacting to the arrests and seizures, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brigadier-General Mohamed Buba Marwa (retd.), commended the officers and men of Apapa Seaport, MMIA, Adamawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Kano and FCT commands for their vigilance and commitment.
Marwa urged them and their colleagues across the country not to rest on their oars, but to remain resolute in pursuit of the agency’s goal of ridding Nigeria of illicit substances.