Ukatu Imported N22bn Worth Of Tramadol – NDLEA
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Tuesday revealed that billionaire businessman, Afam Mallinson Ukatu, imported two containers of illicit drugs including 1,284 cartons of Tramadol with a market value of over N22billion.
The NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi said, further investigation proved that Ukatu made the importation in a single month, in October 2019.
The latest findings are coming eight days after “hirelings” of Ukatu, countered an earlier report of the NDLEA which indicted him for importing Tramadol consignment worth N3 billion.
The consignment, said to involve the Abba Kyari-led Intelligence Response Team (IRT), included different brands of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg.
Sources close to Ukatu had exonorated him from the allegations.
One of the sources had said, “It is false and I would state that he is not a drug baron by any stretch of the imagination. The product in question wasn’t his.
“It was imported by a pharmaceutical company and when Abba Kyari and his team seized the consignment, the owner approached Mallinson to help with the police.
“Because the police team had sold the items, they turned on Mallinson. The pharm coy had all the required licences and permits. The item was duly processed via Form M. So this story is a misrepresentation of the facts”.
Consequently, the latest report cited an instance where the suspect “through his Mallinson Group of companies imported into the country two-container loads of five different brands of Tramadol in October 2019 through the Apapa ports in Lagos.
“All the evidence so far gathered show that the imported Tramadol brands were far above the threshold permitted to be imported into Nigeria. No doubt the suspect will soon have his day in court”.
Ukatu who is said to own pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies was arrested on April 13 at the Lagos International airport after months of surveillance.
The anti-drugs agency had revealed that Ukatu allegedly used the companies as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria, which is in addition to operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used to launder money.