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NDLEA foils attempt to smuggle tramadol to Turkey



The special area command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, has intercepted 1.6 kilograms tramadol and flunitrazepam.A

Jonah Achema, head of public affairs, NDLEA, disclosed this in a statement oon Wednesday,

According to him, the drugs which were destined for Turkey, were seized from one Michael Ejionye Chukwuka during the outward clearance of passengers boarding the Turkish Airline flight to Istanbul.

“The seizures are made up of 1.250 kilograms of tramadol and 350 grams of flunitrazepam and were concealed in two ‘Ghana-must-go bags’,” it read.Advertisement

“The tramadol are in 200, 225, 250 milligrams which are above the 100 milligram threshold permissible for legitimate use, anything above which is illegal.”

However, Chukwuka claimed that he had no idea of what was in the bag, stating that he was given a package at the airport entrance in Abuja to deliver to a Nigerian woman who deals in foodstuffs in Istanbul.

“I don’t know the woman. But Paul, her husband in Warri, Delta, gave the consignment to one man to bring to me at the airport,” Chukwuka said.

NDLEA, however, said Chukwuka works in a cargo office in Istanbul and had lived there with Paul for many years, but was stranded in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and needed money to return to Turkey.

“He (Chukwuka) travelled to Nigeria in March and got trapped by the COVID-19 pandemic during which period, he equally became cash-strapped and had to reach out to friends to enable him validate his return-ticket,” the statement read.

Speaking on the arrest, Kabir Sani Tsakiwa, NDLEA commander, Abuja airport, said the seizure is coming less than one week after the resumption of international flights, which was a clear indication that drug traffickers are desperate.

“But we are equally determined. Most importantly, we need to be extra-vigilant because smuggling tramadol to Turkey is strange and there is an emerging tramadol market in some of these countries,” Tsakuwa added.

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