The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has made a major breakthrough in the fight against counterfeiters in the country by arresting members of a syndicate producing Fake Injection Water, Peak Milk, Codrux Cough Syrup and several Alcoholic Spirits.
Stating this during the parade of the criminal syndicate, the Acting Director General of the Agency, Dr. Yetunde Oni, who was represented by the Director of Enforcement, (NAFDAC), Mr. Kingsley Ejiofor, has said that they were also involved in forging NAFDAC’s numbers, certificates and documents of other government agencies., adding that among the documents recovered from the suspects were certificate of registration bearing forged signature of the acting DG of NAFDAC, documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Federal Ministry of Justice and Federal High Court; as well as a payment verification form from a non-existent Barclays Bank.
According to her, the discovery was made possible after the agency investigated complaints from three countries about some Nigerians who pose as NAFDAC employees to process registration documents for intending importers of regulated products.
“Complaints were received from the High Commission of Nigeria in New Delhi, India on behalf of a firm called Bharti Phosphates, a German manufacturer of pet food supplement and one Mr. Akeem from Tunisia, who wanted to confirm whether he should pay money to a company in Nigeria called Samjoe Ventures for the registration and shipment of 5,000 metric tonnes of calcium carbonate. “Upon investigation, it was discovered that the three cases were hatched and executed by an alleged international criminal group headed by Mr. Eze Okoronkwo, a resident of Aba, Abia State.
She has explained that “Okoronkwo had other Nigerian collaborators, Indian collaborators, as well as nationals of Philippines, Tunisia, El-Salvador, the United States, Canada, Mauritania, Denmark, Mexico, Greece, Switzerland, Indonesia and Republic of South Korea, who all acted as brokers to the syndicate.
She has noted that the syndicate had collected the sum of $13,640, while there were plans to collect a further sum of $57,720. The NAFDAC DG added that the group sourced for brokers with dollar or euro account with a promise that the broker would be entitled to 30 per cent or 40 per cent of the proceeds of the venture.
She has added that they contacted the companies thereafter through their known websites. (e.g. European Union Distributors website). The victim is then gradually fleeced, while being presented with fake documents.
The agency has also paraded a distributor of fake Peak Milk and a manufacturer of fake water used in mixing injections, while disclosing that it had raided the premises of one Mrs. Nkiru Okoro of Ezedams Nigeria Limited located along Kilometre 16, Badagry Expressway, Ojo, allegedly being used as a base for the production, distribution and sales of suspected counterfeit alcoholic beverages.
Oni has added that on February 24, the Federal Task Force on Fake and Counterfeit Water Production arrested one Mr. Daniel Ezekwelu for allegedly producing fake water for injection in two compounds at Ojoto, a village near Nnewi in Anambra State.
She has said that during the raid, two under-aged girls were found filling and sealing the fake water for injection under Ezekwelu’s cover. “Items recovered include plastic containers, gas cylinders and packs of the fake water for injection packed as 100 to 10m vials and labelled ‘sterilised water for injection BP’, with manufacturing date of 2015 and expiry date put at 2020, and said to be produced by Hossanna Laboratories Limited, Surrey.”
A transport vehicle containing several cartons of suspected counterfeit Peak Milk from the East was intercepted by the agency as it arrived Lagos by 4am on February 17, according to Oni, adding that the alleged owner, Onyekachi Ikegwonu, had been arrested.
All the cases, according to NAFDAC, will be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.

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