NDLEA arrests alleged billionaire drug trafficker linked to Abba Kyari’s team


The National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday announced the arrest of Chief Afam Ukatu, the billionaire drug baron behind the Tramadol N3b deal linked to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, the Intelligence Response Team led by Abba Kyari (IRT).

Ukatu, chairman of Mallinson Group of Companies, was arrested after months of surveillance and evading arrest by anti-narcotics officers aboard a flight to Abuja at Lagos airport terminal MM2, Ikeja, on Wednesday 13 April.

NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi said in a statement yesterday that investigations revealed the suspect has been a major importer of large shipments of different brands and high doses of tramadol hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg. and 250 mg, all of which are illicit.

Babafemi said Ukatu owns pharmaceutical and plastics manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria, as well as operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used to launder money.

“Ukatu came under surveillance last year after five cartons of 225mg tramadol were seized from its staff on May 4, 2021, when it sent them to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the Police IRT for sale. from Nigeria, then led by Kyari. , Ikeja Lagos.

“The price of a carton of tramadol was traded at N17 million each against the then black market value of between N18 million and N20 million per carton in Lagos.

“After the arrest of the Ukatu staff; Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Kyari’s men were then taken by the suspects to Mallinson’s warehouse in Ojota in Lagos, where the IRT team seized an additional 197 boxes of 225mg tramadol. The monetary value of the 202 boxes of tramadol seized from Mallinson in one day exceeded 3 billion naira.

“Three weeks after the seizure, the Kyari IRT team transferred just 12 boxes of tramadol with a truck and a suspect to the NDLEA Lakes Command, leaving 190 boxes missing.

“After more than eight months of following suit, the agency’s anti-narcotics officers finally arrested Ukatu at the Lagos airport on April 13, 2022.

“Kyari and four prominent members of his team are already facing trial for a different but similar offense at a Federal High Court in Abuja.” he added she.

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