By Longtong Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Operatives of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Command, have arrested and paraded UCHE Chinyere, 58, for allegedly being in possession of expired Tramadol Hydrocloride drugs worth over N13 million.
The suspect denied the allegation, saying he is a dealer and had bought the drugs from a pharmaceutical company in Lagos long before it expired, noting that he kept the drugs at a warehouse in Zaria pending the time he would get approval from NAFDAC and NDLEA before disposing them.
“I have been planning to contact the NDLEA and NAFDAC to dispose the drugs before I was arrested. I have no intention of selling them to the public. I bought a carton then at the cost of N6, 000. I did sell a carton N9, 000,” he recounted.
The NDLEA state Commander, Samuel Azige, told newsmen that the suspect was arrested in possession of 1,544 cartons of pain-killer drugs which expired since 2014, saying each cartoon costs about N9, 060.
Azige said the suspect was arrested after two months of monitoring.
He said apart from the fact that the drugs have expired, he added that they also have negetive effects on the youths as excessive intake of Tramadol Hydrocloride triggers them to involve in crime activities.
According to him, NDLEA arrested the suspect in his shop in Kano following intelligence report, adding that, he also has a warehouse in Zaria where he stores his goods.
“A total number of 1, 544 cartons of Tramadol drug were seized. It weighs over 15 tons. Each of the carton cost N9, 060.
“He has been in the business for long. He told us he expended over N12million on the drugs. The most disturbing aspect is that the drugs are expired since 2014 but he is still stocking them and selling them which is very dangerous. NAFDAC has been campaigning and creating awareness on the dangers of taking expired drugs.
“This is someone that does not have the interest of the people at heart, but after making money. So he sells these drugs whether they are useful or not.
“Initially we didn’t know that the drugs were expired until after we recovered the drug and we went through the sachet. It was then we discovered that the drugs have expired as far back as 2014. But the bottom line is that this man was arrested for illegal possession and storage of these drugs. He is not trained to handle this drug, but only a pharmacist who can dispense the drugs.
“Again, you can imagine the gravity of crime the police will battle with if these have been allowed to go into the society.
“We want to thank the Kaduna state government for the logistics support we have continued to receive from them. These has also enhanced our performance and lead to the recent achievement and arrests made in the state,” he said.
Azige said, investigation is ongoing on the matter and in the next one week the suspect will be charged to court.