The NDLEA has arrested a drug barron who is behind the Abba Kyari’s latest travail.
According to a statement by the NDLEA director of media and advocacy, Femi Babafemi, the arrested Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu, is the billionaire drug baron behind the N3 billion Tramadol deal that implicated the embattled suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari-led Intelligence Response Team, IRT.
The statement revealed that Ukatu, the Chairman of the Mallinson Group of Companies, was arrested onboard a flight to Abuja on Wednesday 13th April at the MM2 terminal of the Lagos airport, Ikeja, after months of surveillance and evading arrest.
He was a big importer of large consignments of various brands and high dosages of Tramadol Hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg, and 250mg, all of which are illegal, according to investigations.
Ukatu owned pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing businesses that he used to smuggle illegal substances into Nigeria. In addition, he manages 103 bank accounts, the majority of which are used to launder money.
Ukatu came under NDLEA’s watch list last year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on 4th May 2021 when he sent them to sell to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the then Kyari-led IRT of the Nigeria Police, Ikeja Lagos.
The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at N17million per carton, compared to the black market value of N18million to N20million per carton in Lagos at the time.
After the arrest of Ukatu’s staff: Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Kyaris men were then led by the suspects to Mallinson’s warehouse at Ojota in Lagos where 197 additional Cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized by the IRT Team. The monetary value of the 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from Mallinson in one day was over N3billion.
Three weeks after the seizure, Abba Kyari’s IRT team delivered only 12 cartons of Tramadol to the NDLEA’s Lagos Command, along with one truck and a suspect, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.
On the 13th of April 2022, anti-narcotic officers of the Agency arrested Ukatu at the Lagos airport after placing him under surveillance for over eight months.
Meanwhile, Abba Kyari and four top members of his team are already facing trial for a different but similar offence at a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Source: The NDLEA.