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NDLEA foils attempt to smuggle Tramadol, Flunitrazepam to Turkey

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Nicholas Kalu, Abuja

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has intercepted 1.6 kilograms of controlled drugs, suspected to be Tramadol and Flunitrazepam which were destined for Istanbul, Turkey

Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs of the Agency, Jonah Achema, who made this known in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said an unusual drug trafficking trend has been uncovered by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Special Area Command.

He said the Command made the interception barely after the resumption of international flights.

The statement reads, “The Command made the seizure from Michael Ejionye Chukwuka during the outward clearance of passengers boarding the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul, Turkey.

“The usual trend is the illegal importation of Tramadol from Pakistan and India into the country and not the exportation of the illicit Tramadol. 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. The Tramadols are in 200, 225, 250 milligrams which are above the 100-milligram threshold permissible for legitimate use anything above which is illegal.

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​Chukwuka, aged 36 and an indigene of Imo State claimed to be ignorant of the content of the bags and that he was given the bags at the Airport entrance in Abuja to deliver to a Nigerian woman who deals in foodstuff in Istanbul. ‘I don’t know the woman but Paul, her husband in Warri gave the consignment to one man to bring to me at the airport.’

“​The suspected drug trafficker who works in a Cargo Office in Istanbul had lived there together with Paul for many years. He travelled to Nigeria in March and got trapped by the Coronavirus pandemic during which period, he equally became cash-strapped and had to reach out to friends to enable him to validate his return-ticket.

“According to Kabir Sani Tsakuwa, Commander, NDLEA Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the arrest and seizure coming less than a week after the resumption of international flight at Abuja International Airport is a clear indication that the drug traffickers are desperate. ‘But we are equally determined. Most importantly, we need to be extra-vigilant because smuggling Tramadol to Turkey is strange, suggesting that there is an emerging Tramadol market in some of these countries,’ Tsakuwa noted.”

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