The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has interrupted the nefarious activities of seven counterfeiters across the country.
Astounding was the counterfeiting of popular brands including Moet and Chandon Wine, St. Remy Brandy, 501 Brandy, Red Label (Johnny Walker) Whisky, Baron De Vals Red Wine, Eagle Schnapps Dry Gin, McDowell Whisky, Jalone Cognac Wine and Pure Heaven Sparkling Drinks.
Director, Investigation and Enforcement, Barr Kingsley Ejiofor who made this known in Lagos on Thursday said the consumption of these counterfeit drinks may lead to Liver Cirrhosis, Kidney failures and cancers.
Barr Ejiofor said the NAFDAC officers who stormed Ogbaru Relief market in Onitsha, Anambra State where the activities were being carried out also discovered a container load of fake holograms, labels and packaging materials of the counterfeited brands.These drinks were produced by manual mixing in plastic buckets and filled into bottles under very unhygienic conditions within the market premises.
These drinks were produced by manual mixing in plastic buckets and filled into bottles under very unhygienic conditions within the market premises.
Six suspects have been arrested and interrogated. They are: Ada Ikeobi (a nursing mother), Chikezie Ogaejiofor, Ikechukwu Onu, Ikechukwu Nwolisa, Chinaza Okolo and Anayo Obi. Investigations is ongoing.
Giving the background on how it was done, Barr Ejiofor said following intelligence reports a team of NAFDAC Investigation and Enforcement and Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Unwholesome Processed Foods officers stormed Ogbaru Relief Market in Onitsha, Anambra State where they discovered several shops used for the production, distribution, sale and storage of fake and counterfeit alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks of various popular brands valued at over Two Hundred Million Naira.“Tip off on the premises helped the agency to burst these notorious fakers,” he explained.
“Tip off on the premises helped the agency to burst these notorious fakers,” he explained.
Barr Ejiofor said Nigerians should continue to assist the agency by giving it useful information that can lead to putting a stop to such activities that endanger the health of all because, “sequel to a whistle blower’s report of a case of production of bitters with fake NAFDAC registration numbers, NAFDAC investigation officers made their way to a building at 11 Omotosho Crescent, Off Ewedana Street, Tollgate Ota Ogun state,” he stated.
The officers found a building- a brick wall fenced bungalow of five bedroom apartment. Two of the rooms are residential, while the other three rooms, the parlour and the kitchen are for the production of the following unregistered, deceptive (with fake NAFDAC Registration Number) and counterfeit products namely: Merry Jedi-(Plus) Bitter Cleanser, with fake NAFDAC Registration No. 08-5679. The owner of the product is
The owner of the product is Mr. Innocent Merry Iloabuchi. And Rock Well Herbal Bitter with fake NAFDAC Registration No. 01-3076. The owner of the product is Mr. Chukwudi Ogbuta. Furthermore, the products were being produced in a very dirty environment by unqualified personnel, under poor Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Empty plastic bottles, caps, cartons and sticker labels of another product – Stone Cream Liqueur were also found in the facility. The addresses on the labels of all the products are fake.
He said another was the importation of expired health drinks and examination gloves, which was a donated consignment of ninety cartons of expired gloves and five hundred and ninety-five crates of expired Smart Wellness Drink intercepted at Tincan Island Port.
Ejiofor said the company falsely declared the items as five thousand and eighty packs of medical equipment and books. All the items have been evacuated to NAFDAC Warehouse.
Barrister Ejiofor said the agency also uncovered a reprocessing of finished chemicals which was as a result of a tip-off by a patriotic Nigerian.
“A consignment of Sulphuric Acid (4 x 1000 litres) was intercepted in front of an uncompleted residential building at Agbara. It was discovered that the suspect diluted its original concentration of 99.9 percent to 50 percent and relabeled it as well. The suspect has no Chemical Permit and the facility is not licensed to carry out such sensitive and hazardous operation. It was also observed that there was no technical staff attached to the company. 3 x 1000Ltrs of the diluted Acid have been evacuated, while the remaining 1 x 1000Ltrs and the diluting facilities have been placed on “Hold”.
The agency equally seized containers and cartons of fake pharmaceuticals and medical devices at Apapa Port. Barr said the NAFDAC officers intercepted five containers (C-3748, C-3750, C-3751, C-3752, C-3749) based on Intelligence report. “And on due examination of the contents of the container declared as pharmaceutical product turned out to contain clones of known registered Nigerian brands of pharmaceutical products.The fake pharmaceutical products ranged from analgesics, anti-inflammatory, Opioid-like, anti-diarrhea, antipyretic and
The fake pharmaceutical products ranged from analgesics, anti-inflammatory, Opioid-like, anti-diarrhea, antipyretic and antitussive. In addition, 3 x 40ft containers (C-5789, C-4146, C-3934) suspected to contain unregistered and fake pharmaceuticals were also intercepted at the AP MOLLER Terminal. Furthermore, 1 x 40ft containers (ZCSU-8620163) of suspected fake pharmaceutical products falsely manifested as Electrical goods on the bill of lading was stopped by NAFDAC Officers at the TIC Terminal of Tincan Island Port, Lagos,” said Barr Ejiro.
The Agency also seized 1 X 40 FT container No: TGHU 8729300 containing unregistered Ciclex OPA test strips which expired last month. It was imported by Pacific Diagnostis Limited. Just as it seized six cartons (two packages) of unregistered Pethidine injection 100mg/2ml. This is a highly controlled injection. The consignment was intercepted by NAFDAC Officers on duty at NAFDAC-NAHCO SHED 4 at Muritala Moh’d International Airport.
Barr Ejiofor said NAFDAC is doing everything to ensure that only safe and solicited for the support of all and sundry to continue to educate their wards and family members to desist from patronising quacks and hawkers of medicines on the street.
“We further advise consumers of NAFDAC regulated products to be watchful of drug, food and other regulated products they purchase and obtain a receipt of payment for same. The general public should not hesitate to report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest NAFDAC office and Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, 10-15 Mobil road, Apapa, Lagos.
“We implore you to visit NAFDAC office in any state of the federation including the FCT to report all suspected cases of clandestine activities or send SMS to the following emergency numbers: 08058741647 and 08013630600,” he appealed.