Whistle blower helps NAFDAC uncover N200m fake products

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has uncovered fake and unregistered products worth about N200 million.

The NAFDAC Acting Director-General, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, who disclosed this at a conference in Lagos yesterday, said investigation officers of the agency had, through a whistle blower’s report, discovered a building at 11 Omotosho Crescent, off Ewedana Street, Tollgate, Ota in Ogun State where production of bitters with fake NAFDAC registration numbers were produced.

Oni, who spoke through the Director of Investigation and Enforcement, Kingsley Ejiofor, said the building was a five-bedroom apartment bungalow with two residential rooms, while the other three rooms, the living room and the kitchen were used for production of unregistered, deceptive and counterfeit products, including, Merry Jedi Plus, Bitter Cleanser and Rock Well Herbal Bitter.

The NAFDAC boss, who gave the name of the owner as Mr. Innocent Merry Iloabuchi, explained that the goods were being produced in a dirty environment by unqualified personnel without Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

According to her, empty plastic bottlers, caps, car- tons and sticker labels of another product, Stone Cream Liqueur, were also found in the facility, while the addresses on the labels of all the products were fake.

Oni said the agency also raided Ogbaru Relief market in Onitsha, Anambra State, where NAFDAC detectives discovered several shops used for the production, distribution, sale and storage of fake and counterfeit alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks of various popular brands valued at over N200 million.

These drinks, she noted, were produced by manual mixing in plastic buckets and filled into bottles under unhygienic conditions within the market premises, some of which include popular brands like Moet, Chandon wine, St. Remmy Brandy, 501 Brandy, Pure Heaven Sparkling Drinks and Jalone Cognac wine. Six suspects, the DG said, were arrested and interrogated during the raid, while investigation was ongoing.

According to her, the consumption of these counterfeit drinks may lead to liver cirrhosis, kidney failure and cancer.

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