OPERATIVES of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have seized opioids pills and bottles worth over N5 billion after busting a Tramadol cartel in Lagos.
The NDLEA disclosed this in a statement released by Director of Media and Publicity, Femi Babafemi, on Sunday, January 15.
The statement further disclosed that anti-narcotics officers of the Agency also uncovered and dismantled a clandestine skuchies laboratory in a remote part of Sagamu, Ogun State.
The NDLEA added that several pieces of equipment and various quantities of illicit substances used to mass produce the dangerous new psychoactive substances were recovered at the venue.
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According to the statement, NDLEA operatives, on January 10, intercepted an imported consignment of Loud, a potent 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 Wednesday 11th January at Idumota area of Lagos Island.
“Another effort by the Agency to bring the drug cartels to their kneels paid off on Friday 13th Jan 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,” the statement said.
Illicit drugs recovered from the warehouse include over three million pills of tramadol; 3,490 bottles of codeine and 915,000 capsules of pregabalin 300mg.
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According to the NDLEA, the development came on the heels of the arrest of a suspect, Olarenwaju Lawal Wahab, who distributed for the cartel.
“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, NDLEA operatives, in the early hours of Saturday, January 14, 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 and packaged in large quantities and distributed in jerry cans and bottles.
The NDLEA said 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 litres of industrial codeine, among others, were recovered from the building before it sealed off the premises.
The statement added that, in Abuja, operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the NDLEA, on January 12, recovered 350.7kgs of skunk and 794 bottles of codeine hidden under rocks during a raid on the Tora Bora Hills.