The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a Malian and four Nigerians in connection with illegal sales of 4,580 kilogrammes of psychotropic drugs in Kano.
The seized drugs comprising 2,592kgs of codeine cough syrups and 1,988kgs of tramadol were recovered from five secret warehouses located within the metropolis by officers of the Kano, Kano State command of the agency.
The state commander of the NDLEA, Mr Hamza Umar, gave the names of the suspects as Ikechukwu Ukwuoma, 34, arrested with 2,010kgs of codeine cough syrups; Nura Ibrahim, 30, caught with 886kgs of tramadol and Zakari Muhammadi, a Malian found with 850kgs of tramadol.
Others are Earnest Asogwa, 34, caught with 582kgs of codeine syrup and Ikenna Osuizugba, 34, found in possession of 252kgs of tramadol.
The arrests and seizures were made following intelligence report on the activities of the suspects.
“The abuse of psychotropic drugs like codeine cough syrups and tramadol is prevalent among young people and married women in the state. It is common to see iced bottles of codeine cough syrup instead of beverage drinks in a gathering of young people,” Hamza stated.
Ikechukwu Ukwuoma, a secondary school certificate holder, who is married and has three children, is one of the major distributors of codeine cough syrups in the State.
Ikechukwu who hails from Orlu Local Government Area in Imo State, said that he was in the business to make money.
“I began selling codeine cough syrup because of the high profit involved. The drug sells fast and I was only interested in the profit. A bottle of codeine in Kano is twice the price in the east. I did not know how the officers discovered my warehouse where the drugs were kept. I regret my action,” he said.