Over 2.7 million tablets of Tramadol 225mg weighing 1,650kg have been intercepted at Apapa port, Lagos, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said yesterday.
The consignment, said to be worth N1,375,000,000, were packed in 55 cartons of Tapentadol and Carisoprodol brands of Tramadol.
Officials of the NDLEA seized the drugs while examining a container number SUDU 7538656 on Saturday following credible intelligence, it was learnt.
Last week, five suspects were arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, in connection with attempts to export various psychoactive substances to London and Dubai.
On July 25, a Dubai, UAE-bound female passenger was intercepted during outward clearance of travellers on Rwanda Air via Kigali to Dubai. In her luggage were found sachets of Tramadol concealed inside gari, a cassava product, packed among other foodstuff.
She claimed that the bag was given to her by someone in whose house she passed the night for delivery to another person in Dubai.
On July 26, 50 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 27.1kg concealed inside in a sack of London-bound crayfish were seized at the SAHCO export shed.
In Adamawa state, four drug dealers in Konkol and Belel, two villages at Nigeria-Cameroon border were arrested for exporting and retailing Tramadol and importing Diazepam into the country. The suspects include: Kabiru Ahmadu; Eric Emil; Abdulmumini Bapetel and Alphonsus Yusuf.
A total of 59.018kg Tramadol, Diazepam, Exol-5, Cannabis Sativa and two jerry cans of formalin substance (Suck & Die) were recovered from them.
In Kebbi, no less than 4,010 ampoules of pentazocine injection were seized on July 29 when a commercial vehicle with registration number Sokoto RBA 220 XA was intercepted along Yawuri-Kebbi Road and two suspects, Muktar Yunusa, 26, and Lukman Aliyu, 30, were arrested.
Seizures were also made in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other parts of the country.
In Kano, a federal high court yesterday convicted a man who deals in fake drugs.
Innocent Oparah, 41, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for circulating fake drugs and endangering the lives of innocent consumers, Sayo Akintola, Resident Media Consultant of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said in a statement.
Oparah was, however, given an option of N200,000 fine.
The NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, noted with dismay that the provision of the law for drug offenders in the country prescribed weak penalties, underscoring the need for a review of such laws to provide stiffer penalties for drug counterfeiters in the country to serve as a deterrent to others.
NAFDAC said the convict was arrested on October 20, 2018 with some drug products, and paracetamol labels that were “changed to Quinine and Nivaquine”, both not registered by NAFDAC.
“Four boys were met at his shop changing labels of paracetamol with that of quinine and the boys confessed that it was Innocent aka Inno that owns the products. The boys called Innocent Oparah on the phone, and he later came and met them at the shop where he accepted ownership of the products,” NAFDAC said.