NDLEA arrests drug lord with 103 bank accounts, charges Abba Kyari’s team
The National Drug Enforcement Agency has arrested a suspected drug lord, Afam Emmanuel Ukatu, who is believed to be behind the 3 billion naira tramadol deal involving the suspended deputy police commissioner, Abba Kyari, led by the Intelligence Response Team.
Apart from the 3 billion naira tramadol deal, the suspect allegedly operates 103 bank accounts, most of which are used for money laundering.
NDLEA Spokesperson Femi Babafemi disclosed this on Monday in a statement titled “NDLEA arrests drug lord behind N3billion Tramadol linked to Abba Kyaris team”.
Babafemi said the suspect owned pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria. This is in addition to operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used for money laundering.
He noted that NDLEA officials arrested Ukatu on Wednesday, April 13 on a flight to Abuja at Terminal MM2 at Lagos Airport, Ikeja.
Babafemi explained that Ukatu is the chairman of the Mallinson Group of Companies.
The statement read: “Investigations reveal that he has been a major importer of large shipments of various brands and high doses of tramadol hydrochloride, ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg, all of which are illicit. Ukatu owns pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies, which he used as a cover to import illicit drugs into Nigeria. This is in addition to operating 103 bank accounts, most of which are used for money laundering.
“Ukatu came under surveillance last year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on May 4, 2021 when he sent them to be sold to plainclothes police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the IRT then headed by Kyari of the Nigerian Police, Ikeja Lagos.The price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at 17 million naira each compared to the black market value at the time which ranged between 18 million naira and 20 million naira per box in Lagos.
“After the arrest of Ukatu staff: Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Kyaris’ men were then driven 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 exceeded 3 billion naira.
“Three weeks after the seizure, the Kyaris IRT team transferred only 12 cartons of Tramadol with a truck and a suspect to NDLEA Lagos Command, leaving 190 cartons missing.
“After more than eight months of following the lead, Anti-Narcotics Agency officers finally arrested Ukatu at Lagos Airport on April 13, 2022. Kyari and four members of his team are already on trial for a different offense but similar in federal court. Abuja High Court.
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