The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a wanted drug baron in Lagos.
According to a statement by Femi Babafemi, the agency’s spokesperson, the suspect whose name was given as Ugochukwu Chukwukadibia, was arrested with Tramadol 225mg worth N8.86 billion.
The latest arrest comes about five months after the agency arrested another baron, Afam Ukatu, who reportedly has links to the suspended police commissioner, Abba Kyari. He imported containers of tramadol worth N22 billion in one month, the agency said.
The NDLEA had a month ago also announced the discovery of two major clandestine laboratories in Lagos and Anambra states where crystal methamphetamine, called Mkpuru Mmiri in local parlance, was produced and from where they are distributed across the country and exported outside Nigeria.
In September, in what “appears to be the biggest singular cocaine seizure” in the country, the agency also said its operatives busted a major warehouse in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, where over N194 billion worth of crack were seized.
In the latest arrest, the NDLEA said Mr Chukwukadibia, a 52-year-old, was arrested in one of his six mansions in the same estate which is being used as a drug warehouse.
The statement also said the suspect had been on the watchlist of the NDLEA.
Read the NDLEA’s full statement below.
NDLEA arrests another billionaire drug baron in VGC Lagos
. Recovers N8.8billion worth of tramadol from mansion in residential estate
No less than Thirteen Million, Four Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty Six (13,451,466) pills of Tramadol 225mg worth Eight Billion Eight Hundred and Sixty Million Naira (N8,860,000,000) in street value have been recovered by operatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, from one of the mansions of a billionaire drug baron, Ugochukwu Nsofor Chukwukadibia, in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, Lekki area of Lagos.
The arrest of Ugochukwu who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd is coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin in the estate, Chris Emeka Nzewi, who was arrested on Saturday 30th July along with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him. At least, 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drug were recovered from Nzewis home during his arrest.
Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday 30th September stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin. A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13, 451, 466 pills of the drug while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day.
Before his arrest, Ugochukwu who hails from Ihiala local government area of Anambra state has been on the Agencys watch list as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria. Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office. Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bullet jeep have been successfully removed to the Agencys facility.
Reacting to the latest drug haul, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the Agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
According to him, Ill like to reassure Nigerians and other stakeholders wherever they are located across the country and beyond of our preparedness to work with them on this onerous task of saving our people from the drug scourge. This partnership is a further warning to the drug barons and cartels that there is no hiding place for them anymore, because we remain on their trail and well always get them.
Director, Media & Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters Abuja
Monday 3rd October 2022
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