NDLEA busts N3bn Tramadol kingpin linked to Abba Kyaris

NDLEA busts N3bn Tramadol kingpin linked to Abba Kyaris
NDLEA busts N3bn Tramadol kingpin linked to Abba Kyaris

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, agents have arrested the billionaire drug kingpin behind the N3 billion Tramadol deal that involved the embattled suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari-led Intelligence Response Team, IRT, Chief Afam Mallinson Ukatu

Mallinson Group’s chairman and CEO Ukatu was arrested on a flight to Abuja from the Lagos airport on Wednesday 13th April after months of investigation and avoidance.

Toxicology tests have found that Tramadol Hydrochloride, a painkiller with a range of dosages from 120 mg to 225 mg and 250 mg, has been imported by him in huge consignments during the past few years. Importing illegal medicines into Nigeria was a cover for Ukatu’s pharmaceutical and plastics manufacturing enterprises. Also included in these duties are maintaining and administering money laundering operations in an additional 103 bank accounts.

Five cartons of Tramadol 225mg, which Ukatu’s personnel provided to undercover agents from the then Kyari-led IRT of the Nigerian Police, Ikeja Lagos, were seized from them on 4th May 2021.

N17million every carton was agreed upon, compared with the black market value of N18million to $20million per carton in Lagos at that time.

Ukatu staff members Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete were arrested, and the suspects then led Kyaris men to Mallinson’s warehouse in Lagos, where the IRT Team found an additional 197 cartons of Tramadol 225mg.

The 202 Tramadol boxes recovered from Mallinson in a single day were worth approximately N3billion in monetary terms.

As of this writing, three weeks following their seizure, the Kyaris IRT team only had 12 cartons of Tramadol in their possession, leaving 190 unaccounted for. Ukatu was finally apprehended by anti-narcotics officers of the Agency on April 13th, 2022, after eight months of following the lead. As it stands, Kyari and four of his closest associates are already on trial in Abuja for a different but related crime.