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NAFDAC arrests fakers of killer wines, soft drinks in Aba

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has arrested operators of fake wine factories in Eziukwu Market (Cemetery Market) Aba, the economic hub of Abia State.

In a statement on Monday, Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC director-general, said after an intelligence tip-off, it discovered that the “dastard activity has been going on for a long time and they operate like a cartel threatening anyone who dares challenge them”.

It said during the operation, nearly 1,500 boxes of fake and substandard items were burned, while 300 cartons were evacuated to a NAFDAC storage.

“The street value of the confiscated and destroyed fake products is estimated at over N750 million. Ten people were arrested on arrival at the scene of the crime and will be charged to court after thorough investigation,” the agency said.

NAFDAC said it raided over 240 shops turned factories where the harmful products were being produced and marketed, adding that the shops converted factories are very filthy, using water from very unhygienic sources, harmful chemicals, saccharin, colouring, dirty recycled bottles, and cloned packaging materials of other brands.

It explained that some of the nefarious activities of the counterfeiters included the manufacturing of all kinds of adulterated products especially different kinds of wine from a wide variety of brands ranging from Seaman Schnapps, Hennessy, Four Cousins, Carlo Rossi, Jenney, Chelsea London Dry Gin, Schnapp Dry Gin, McDowells, Black Labels, Gordons, Martell, Campari, Smirnoff ice, Eva Non-Alcoholic Drink, Evra Non-Alcoholic Drink, Cartel, and others.

“There is also date revalidation for expired products like Peak milk, Powdered milk, Ketchups, Yoghurt, Coca Cola products, packaging of fake and substandard products, which are later sold to unsuspecting members of the public for consumption.”

Because of the magnitude of illegality going on in the section of the market, NAFDAC said it had to close the entire market down for proper regulatory activity until an agreement was reached with all stakeholders in the market and undertaken to sign that the market will never be used for such deprave business anymore.

While urging Nigerians to remain vigilant, the agency also tasked consumers to always scrutinize branded drinks to distinguish them from counterfeits before consuming them.

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