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NAFDAC Bursts Large Hauls Of Fake Wines, Soft Drinks, Consumables

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has intercepted counterfeiters involved in the production of variety of beverages including wines, soft drinks and consumables in Eziukwu Market (Cemetery Market) Aba, Abia State.

NAFDAC Director General,Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye,who announced this in a statement on Monday, explained that the feat was made possible following an intelligent tip off.

“Following an intelligent tip off, NAFDAC carried out several weeks of intelligence gathering and collation of data on the activities of this merchants of death. In collaboration with other security agencies, NAFDAC carried out a sting operation in the market to burst the criminal operations taking place there.

“It is worthy of note that this dastard activity has been going on for a long time and they operate like a cartel threatening anyone who dares challenge them,”the agency said in the statement.

According to NAFDAC,”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, Henessy, 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,”it added.

The agency explained that,”Because of the extensive operation, the agency raided over 240 shops- turned factories where the harmful products were being produced and marketed. “

“The shops-turned factories are very filthy, using water from very unhygienic sources, harmful chemicals, saccharin, colouring, dirty recycled bottles, and cloned packaging materials of other brands. The adulteration of alcoholic beverages by criminal elements in the country is done by mixing of cheaper sources of sugar and starch besides grapes or fruit, among other harmful chemicals unsuitable for human consumption.

“Over 1500 cartons of the fake and substandard products were destroyed during the operation while 300 hundred cartons were evacuated to NAFDAC warehouse. The street value of the confiscated and destroyed fake products is estimated at over seven hundred and fifty million naira only. (N750,000,000).

“Ten people were arrested on arrival at the scene of the crime and will be charged to court after thorough investigation.

Due to the sheer magnitude of illegality going on in the section of the market, NAFDAC had to shut the entire market down for thorough regulatory activity until an agreement was reached with all stakeholders in the market and undertaken signed that the market will never be used for such nefarious activities anymore,”it said.

NAFDAC advised that,”Drinking adulterated alcohol can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness, and dizziness, blue tinged or pale skin, irregular or slow breathing, low body temperature, unconsciousness or passing out. It can also lead to kidney and liver failure or even death.”

It described Methanol as a substance which can be used in fake vodka and may cause permanent blindness.

“WHO in their Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health estimated that more than three million people died all over the world as a result of alcohol poisoning. Furthermore, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ascertained that one of every 10 cancer cases in Nigeria can be traced to Alcohol and 4.7 percent of overall cancer cases in Nigeria in 2019 can be attributed to consumption of adulterated alcohol,”it said.

While urging Nigerians to remain vigilant, the agency is also tasking consumers to always scrutinize branded drinks to distinguish them from counterfeits before consuming them. NAFDAC wishes to advice that the members of the public should shine their eyes during this yuletide season and think about the “4 Ps” before buying of alcohol.

The “4ps”,it explained, involved place,price, package and product.

“NAFDAC will continue to ensure that the level of counterfeit products nationwide is brought to the nearest minimum so that our people will continue to consume only healthy and safe products. We wish to reiterate that in line with our mandate to rid the county of fake and substandard products, we shall be on the trail of these evil counterfeiters, and bring them to book.

“The public is enjoined to report any suspicious activity of illegal producers of adulterated products or similar activities to the nearest NAFDAC office nationwide,”the agency said.

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