Men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have busted a tramadol cartel and seized millions of opioid pills and bottles worth over N5bn from a warehouse in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, in a statement on Sunday, said two suspected kingpins were arrested by the agency.
Babafemi said, “The drug cartels took the first heat on Tuesday, January 10, from determined officers of the agency who intercepted an imported consignment of Loud, a strong variant of cannabis, weighing 4, 878.72 kilograms along Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State.
“After a near-fatal encounter with some suspected fake security agents escorting the drugs, the NDLEA operatives succeeded in recovering the consignment with a white truck marked BDG 548 XX conveying it.
“This was followed by the seizure of 121,630 pills of pharmaceutical opioids and some quantity of Molly from a dealer, Charles Okeke, on Wednesday, January 11, at the Idumota area of Lagos Island.”
He noted that another effort by the agency to bring drug cartels to their knees paid off on Friday, January 13, when operatives tracked and located a major warehouse for pharmaceutical opioids at 17, Sir Ben Onyeka Street, off Ago Palace Way, in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state, while the owner of the store, Aloysius Okeke, was arrested.
“Illicit drugs recovered from the warehouse include 3,264,630 pills of tramadol, 3,490 bottles of codeine and 915,000 capsules of pregabalin 300mg.
“This came on the heels of the arrest of a suspect, Olarenwaju Wahab, who distributes for the cartel, on the same day.
“Recovered from his white Mercedes distribution vehicle include 14,690 bottles of codeine-based syrup, 402,500 tablets of tramadol 250mg, 50,000 tablets of tramadol 225mg and 210,000 capsules of pregabalin 300mg.
“In neighbouring Ogun State, in the early hours of Saturday, January 14, operatives also discovered and dismantled a clandestine laboratory on the outskirts of Sagamu from where skuchies, a highly potent psychoactive substance made with a blend of cannabis sativa, tramadol, rohypnol, exol-5 and industrial codeine, was being produced in large quantities, packaged and distributed in jerrycans and bottles,” he added.
Babafemi noted that all the equipment for the production, including power generators, industrial gas cylinders, drums and kegs as well as various quantities of illicit drugs were recovered from the building before it was sealed off.
In Abuja, operatives of the FCT command of the agency, on Thursday, January 12, raided the notorious Tora bora hills within the FCT and recovered 350.7kg of skunk and 794 bottles of codeine hidden under rocks.