The Nation (Nigeria)

Suspected drug kingpin held with 548,000 Tramadol sachets

- From Nicholas Kalu, Abuja

THE National Drug law Enforcemen­t Agency (NDLEA) says it has arfollowed rested a major illicit drug kingpin in Anambra, Okeke Chijioke.

The Agency said its operatives recovered 548,000 tablets of Tramadol branded as Tarkadol from the 44-yearold’s warehouse at 3 Atunya Street, Maryland Estate, Nkwelle, Oyi local government area of the state.

During the search on the warehouse, a double-barrel pump action gun and three live cartridges were recovered, NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi said in a statement yesterday.

Babafemi said Okeke’s arrest on Saturday July 10, 2021 credible intelligen­ce and surveillan­ce, which confirmed he stocked his warehouse with the illicit drug.

The Agency’s spokesman said the suspect accepted ownership of the drugs.

The statement reads, “Preliminar­y investigat­ion has establishe­d that Tarkadol is a brand of Tramadol that has just been introduced into the market to evade attention. The substance has also tested positive to amphetamin­e.

“The drug was equally labeled 100mg pain reliever on its packs to avoid scrutiny, while laboratory tests confirmed it’s a 225mg drug. It was further discovered that the drug was manufactur­ed in

India and smuggled into Nigeria without NAFDAC number or certificat­ion. During the search on the warehouse, a double barrel pump gun with 3 live cartridges, which licence expired since 2019, was also discovered and recovered.”

On July 14, 28,400 capsules of Tramadol were intercepte­d from one Dankawu Madaki, who hails from Misah LG, Bauchi state, it was said.

A suspected interstate drug dealer, Godiya Linus, based in Taraba but supplies narcotics to dealers in Adamawa, has also been arrested, NDLEA said.

Several other intercepti­ons have also been reported.

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