Saturday, December 3, 2022

NDLEA arrests another billionaire drug baron in Lagos, recovers N9 billion worth of tramadol

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No less than 13,451,466 pills of Tramadol 225mg worth N8,860,000,000 in street value have been recovered by operatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, from one of the mansions of a billionaire drug baron, Ugochukwu Nsofor Chukwukadibia, in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, Lekki area of Lagos.

A statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the arrest and seizure followed credible intelligence.

According to Mr Babafemi, the NDLEA operatives stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin on Friday September 30.

A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13,451,466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day.

Before his arrest, Mr Ugochukwu, who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra State, has been on the agency’s watch list as 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 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 moved to the NDLEA facility.

The arrest of Mr Ugochukwu who is the chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, is coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested on Saturday July 30 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 used for the production of the toxic drug were recovered from Mr Nzewi’s home during his arrest.

Reacting to the latest drug haul, the chairman of NDLEA, Mohamed Buba Marwa, 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.

He reassured Nigerians and other stakeholders of the agency’s preparedness to work with them on the onerous task of saving Nigerians 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 well always get them,” added the statement.

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