Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested suspected drug baron, Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu, in relation to a drug deal worth N3 billion.
Driving the news
The NDLEA operatives arrested the suspect, Chief Afam Ukatu, chairman of the Mallinson Group of Companies at the MM2 terminal, Lagos, Nigeria.
- He is suspected of having negotiated a tramadol deal worth N3 billion with Abba Kyari, during his time as Deputy Commissioner of Police and team head, Intelligence Response Team, IRT.
- Reports also say that Chief Utaku operates 103 bank accounts used for money laundering purposes.
Brief background to the story
Chief Utaku, owner of several pharmaceutical and plastic manufacturing companies came under the radar of the anti-graft agency in May 2021, when Abba Kyari’s team seized 202 cartons of tramadol 225mg worth N3 billion (with one carton negotiated at N17 million) from Utaku’s staff in an undercover mission by Abba Kyari’s team.
- Kyari’s IRT team transferred only 12 cartons of the seized 202 cartons to the NDLEA office in Lagos State, leaving 190 cartons unaccounted for.
- Since 2021, Chief Utaku has been evading arrest attempts by the NDLEA.
What they are saying
A statement by the Director Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, says that the arrested suspect is a major importer of tramadol ranging from 120mg, 200mg, 225mg and 250mg, all of which are illegal in Nigeria.
Abba Kyari and four other accomplices are on trial for drug-related charges, misconduct and fraud. Abba Kyari is also to stand an extradition hearing to the United States where his crimes are linked to Instagram celebrity Abass Ramon aka Hushpuppi.