Journalism of Courage

Busted! Lagos billionaire drug baron, N8bn tramadol seized

A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13,451,466 pills of the drug, while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house the same day.

Another billionaire drug baron has been busted in Lagos, this time in Lekki on the Lagos island, about two weeks after the biggest haul was made in ancient city of Ikorodu.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced a big haul of 13 million pills of tramadol 225mg worth N8.8 billion in the Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki, following a raid by operatives of the agency.

A suspect, identified as the Chairman of Automation Motors Limited, Ugochukwu Chukwukadibia, has been arrested in connection with the seizure.

According to the NDLEA spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi, said in a statement that one of Chukwukadibia’s six mansions at the Victoria Garden City, Lekki, was raided by operatives of the agency, leading to the discovery of 13 million pills of tramadol 225mg worth N8.8bn in street value.

He said the bust was accomplished barely two months after the agency uncovered a methamphetamine laboratory in the residence of another drug kingpin on the estate, Chris Nzewi, who was arrested on July 30 along with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who cooked the illicit drug for him.

“Following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday, September 30, stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin.

A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg, which contains 13,451,466 pills of the drug, while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house the same day.

“Before his arrest, Ugochukwu, who hails from Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, has been on the agency’s watch list as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.

“Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within VGC, one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in the one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and another as his office.

“Five exotic vehicles have also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs, including a bullet-proof Jeep, have been successfully removed to the agency’s facility,” the statement said.

Commenting on the latest drug haul, the Chairman/CEO of the NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Marwa, lauded the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence, while also appreciating Nigerians for supporting the agency in its task of riding the country of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

Persecondnews had reported that on September 20, 2022, NDLEA made the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the history of drug war in Nigeria at a major warehouse in secluded estate in Ikorodu area of Lagos where 1.8tonnes (1,855 kg) of the illicit drug worth more than $278, 250,000 equivalent of about N194, 775,000,000 in street value were seized.

At least, four drug barons including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager were arrested in the well-coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos State.

 

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