The Lagos State Police Command have arrested two suspects, one Chukwuma Uzor and Ofonime Ikpe, who were reportedly involved in selling adulterated dispensable jar water to banks in the state.
According to reports, the suspects, who were arrested by the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, on Thursday, were picked up on Adesola Street in the Ago-Palace Way, Okota area of the state for allegedly forging labels on the jars used for water dispensers and selling to banks and other companies in the state.
Punch reports that the duo who allegedly specialized in the adulteration of dispensable jar water and sachet water, worked with three other accomplices in the area, who had also been arrested.
Uzor, who hails from Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, said they placed the most popular labels on the jars so that there would be a ready market for them.
According to him, “We decided to use the most popular brand name, because this had a ready market. Therefore, we had many customers including some new generation banks which we supply the water products.
“Before I started working with this syndicate, I worked as a marketer in a dispensable water producing company, but my boss did not pay me well despite the huge sales I made for him. So, I decided to quit his company and start on my own,” Uzor added.
He also said the only way to make sales was to use the brand name, which people were already used to, but that they were actually adulterated.
In the same vein, Ikpe, who also adopted another popular brand name, said they were both producing the fake water in the same factory.
He said, “Uzor was also giving me a token from the profit he made from the sales.”
Uzor’s former boss, who also owned the original brand, one Mr. Sunday Nnaduaga, reportedly said Uzor absconded after working with him for a short time.
He said, “I noticed that he just stopped coming to the office, and efforts to reach him through his mobile phones proved abortive as all his lines were switched off. Sometime ago, a friend of mine hinted me that he saw him distributing dispensable water to our customers mostly banks and other big companies in Lagos.
“That was how I gave the police a tip-off and they started monitoring him until he was caught with the adulterated water with several registered names in a filthy environment.
“This criminal act has greatly affected my business because customers have ceased to come,” the suspect’s former boss added.
The RRS Commander, ACP Olatunji Disu, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspects allegedly poured untreated water in popular brands of jars and sachets and sold them to unsuspecting members of the public.
Disu said hundreds of the adulterated dispensable jars had been recovered from the suspects.
He also added that the suspects had been transferred to the State Investigation and Intelligent Bureau in Ikeja, Lagos.
He, however, cautioned members of the public to be wary of buying unhygienic water particularly as the festive period approaches.