INSIDEMAINLAND– The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) during the weekend busted a tramadol cartel and seized millions of opioid pills and bottles worth over N5 billion from a warehouse in the Amuwo Odofin area, Lagos Mainland.
Femi Babafemi, the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, said in a statement on Sunday that two suspected kingpins had been apprehended.
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 On Friday, January 13, 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 neighboring 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.
All of the production equipment, including power generators, industrial gas cylinders, drums and kegs, and various quantities of illicit drugs, were recovered from the building before it was sealed off, according to Babafemi.