The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has busted another Tramadol cartel in Lagos State.
In the Saturday operation, the agency seized millions of opioids pills and bottles worth N5 billion from their warehouse in the Amuwo Odofin area of the state and arrested two of the kingpins.
An NDLEA statement said on Sunday that anti-narcotics officers of the Agency also uncovered and dismantled a clandestine skuchies laboratory in a remote part of Sagamu, Ogun state where several equipment and various quantities of illicit substances used to mass produce the dangerous new psychoactive substance were recovered on Saturday.
The drug cartels took the first heat on 10th January 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.
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 11th January at Idumota area of Lagos Island.
The spokesman of the NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi said in the statement that, another effort by the Agency to bring the drug cartels to their kneels paid off on Friday 13th January when operatives tracked and located a major warehouse for pharmaceutical opioids at 17 Sir Ben Onyeka street, off Ago palace way in 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 Lawal Wahab who distributes for the cartel same day.
Recovered from his white Mercedes distribution bus 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 neighbouring Ogun state, operatives, in the early hours of Saturday 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 quantity, packaged and distributed in jerry cans and bottles.
All the equipment for the production including power generators, industrial gas cylinders, drums and kegs as well as various quantities of illicit drugs such as 214kgs cannabis; 1,440 capsules of tramadol; 480 tablets of swinol; 1,440 tablets of Rohypnol and 114 liters of industrial codeine, among others were recovered from the building before sealing off the premises.
In Abuja, Babafemi said, operatives of the FCT Command of the Agency on 12th January raided the notorious Tora bora hills in the federal capital city and recovered 350.7kgs of skunk and 794 bottles of codeine hidden under rocks. This is even as 756kgs of C/S were recovered at Dawo village, Kaga LGA, Borno and transferred to the Agency on Friday by officers of the Nigerian Army, FOB 29 Task Force Brigade, Benishiekh, in conjunction with Hunters group, based on intelligence from the State Command of NDLEA.
In Ondo state, he said, operatives stormed Alayere, Akure North LGA, where they arrested a suspect, Sunday Make with 275kgs of Cannabis Sativa and Seeds, while a total of 272kgs of C/S were recovered from two suspects: Nwele Friday and Egbe Nnaemeka at Ifo layout, Abakpa Nike, Enugu.
In Katsina, 34.3kgs of cannabis were also recovered from an uncompleted building in Muduru, Mani village after which the owner, Murtala Isiya was arrested in a follow up operation. In the same vein, a notorious drug dealer who is physically challenged, Abiodun Emaria was on Saturday arrested with 6.2kgs of cannabis at his hideout in Ohada village, Uhunmonde LGA, Edo state.
Meanwhile, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig-Gen. Mohamed Marwa (Rtd), while commending the officers and men of Lagos, FCT, Ondo, Enugu, Borno, Katsina and Edo Commands for the arrests and seizures, he charged them and their compatriots across the country to sustain the heat on drug cartels in Nigeria while balancing their efforts on supply reduction with drug demand reduction activities.