Just in: NDLEA arrests baron behind 3bn deal involving DCP Abba Kyari


By Ismail Auwal

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced the arrest of Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu, the drug baron behind the N3 billion Tramadol deal involving suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari.

After months of evading arrest, Utaku, the Chairman of Mallinson Group of Companies, was apprehended on board a flight to Abuja at the MM2 terminal of Lagos International Airport, Ikeja.

The NDLEA spokesman Femi Babafemi said in a statement on Monday said UInvestigations reveals he has been a major importer of large consignments of different brands and high dosages 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 to launder money.”

“Ukatu came under watch last year after five cartons of Tramadol 225mg were seized from his staff on 4th May 2021 when he sent them to sell to undercover police officers (unknown to Ukatu) from the then Kyari-led IRT of the Nigeria Police, Ikeja Lagos,” the statements reads.

He noted that the price of a carton of Tramadol was negotiated at N17million per carton, as opposed to the then-black market value in Lagos, which ranged between N18million and N20million per carton.

Following the arrest of Ukatu’s employees, Pius Enidom and Sunday Ibekwete, Kyari’s men were led by the suspects to Mallinson’s warehouse in Ojota, Lagos, where the IRT Team seized 197 additional Cartons of Tramadol 225mg.

“The monetary value of the 202 cartons of Tramadol seized from Mallinson in one day was over N3billion.

The NDLEA asserted that three weeks after the seizure, the Kyari’s IRT team transferred only 12 Cartons of the Tramadol with one truck and a suspect to the Lagos Command of the NDLEA, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.

“After over eight months of following the lead, anti-narcotic officers of the Agency eventually arrested Ukatu at the Lagos airport on 13th April 2022,” Babafemi said.

Kyari and four top members of his team are already facing trial for a different but similar offences at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

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