A suspected drug kingpin, Okeke Chijioke, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and 548,000 tablets of Tramadol branded as Tarkadol recovered from his warehouse at 3 Atunya Street, Maryland Estate, in Nkwelle, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State.
In a statement by the NDLEA spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, the arrest of the suspect on July 10 followed credible intelligence and surveillance, which confirmed he stocked his warehouse with the illicit drug. After the search of his warehouse, 548,000 tablets of Tarkadol weighing 302.500 kilogrammes were recovered. The suspect has accepted ownership of the substance recovered.
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Preliminary investigation has established that Tarkadol is a brand of Tramadol that has just been introduced into the market to evade attention. The substance has also tested positive to amphetamine.
The drug was equally labeled 100mg pain reliever on its packs to avoid scrutiny, while laboratory tests confirmed it is a 225mg drug. It was further discovered that the drug was manufactured in India and smuggled into Nigeria without NAFDAC number or certification.
During the operation, a double barrel pump gun with 3 live cartridges, which licence expired since 2019, were also discovered and recovered from the warehouse.
This is even as operatives of the Benue State Command of the Agency on road patrol in Apir village on July 14 intercepted and seized 28,400 capsules of Tramadol from one Dankawu Madaki, who hails from Misah Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
In a related development, a notorious interstate drug dealer, Godiya Linus, based in Taraba State but supplies narcotics to dealers in Adamawa State has been arrested in Numan area of the receiving state. Godiya who is an ex-convict, was in jail between 2012 and 2018 following his conviction on drug related charges.
Another suspected drug dealer, Mohammed Ali had earlier been arrested July 10 with 1.150 kilogrammes of diazepam in Numan. A follow up operation led to the arrest of Godiya who supplied Ali, while investigation has since revealed that he is based
in Mayolope village in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State, from where he supplies Jambutu Park in Yola and other parts of Numan, using an unregistered boxer motorcycle for distribution.
Few days after Godiya’s arrest, another dealer, Emmanuel Ishiwu was nabbed with different quantities of Tramadol, exol-5 and diazepam, totalling 6.103 kilogrammes also in Numan on July 14, followed by the arrest of Muhammadu Garba and Shaibu Haruna with 48.500 kilogrammes of cannabis in Gurin area of the state on July 16.
(Editor: Terverr Tyav)