The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says its operatives recovered 548,000 tablets of tramadol during the arrest of one Okeke Chijioke, an alleged drug kingpin in Anambra state.

Femi Babafemi, spokesman of the NDLEA, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Babafemi said Chijioke, aged 44, was arrested on July 10 following credible intelligence and surveillance, which confirmed he stocked his warehouse with the illicit drugs.

He said the tablets, weighing 302.500kgs and branded as Tarkadol, were recovered from his warehouse at Atunya street, Maryland estate, Nkwelle, Oyi LGA of the state.

“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,” he said.

“The drug was equally labeled 100mg pain reliever on its packs to avoid scrutiny, while laboratory tests confirmed it’s 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 search on the warehouse, a double barrel pump gun with 3 live cartridges, which licence expired since 2019, was also discovered and recovered.”

The spokesman said NDLEA operatives in Benue state intercepted and seized 28,400 capsules of tramadol from one Dankawu Madaki, who hails from Misah LGA in Bauchi state.

He said the arrest was made while the operatives were on road patrol in Apir village on July 14.

According to him, an alleged interstate drug dealer, Godiya Linus, who is based in Taraba state but supplies narcotics to dealers in Adamawa state, was also arrested in Numan area of the state.

Few days after the arrest of Linus, another alleged dealer, Emmanuel Ishiwu, was nabbed with different quantities of tramadol, exol-5, and diazepam, totalling 6.103kg also in Numan, Adamawa, on July 14.

Reacting to the development, Buba Marwa, NDLEA chairman, commended the officers of the Anambra, Benue and Adamawa state commands for sustaining the ongoing efforts to tackle the spread of illicit drugs in the country.

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