NAFDAC uncovers illegal wine factories in Onitsha, arrests 9 suspects reports that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has uncovered illegal wine and beverage manufacturing factories within the Relief Market, Onitsha, Anambra and arrested nine suspects.
This followed a special raid and enforcement operation of the Federal Government’s ban on imported fruit juices on Wednesday in Onitsha.
NAFDAC’s Head, Investigation and Enforcement, Mr Kingsley Ejiofor explained after the exercises that those arrested were involved in the bottling of the unwholesome, counterfeit and dangerous drinks.
“We came here for a special assignment to mop up all counterfeit prohibited products which include imported fruit juices, food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, detergent and bottled water, among others.
“We were able to uncover a place where illegal manufacturers bottle unwholesome and dangerous chemicals they call wine and spirits. It was so disheartening,” he said.
Ejiofor said popular brands like Hennessey, 501, Johnny Walker, Red Label whisky, Best Marula fruit cream, pure heaven, Amarula, Baron De Vals, Eva and J&W, among others were been faked.
He said in the unhygienic factories were cockroaches and equipment such as stoves, colourants, plastic containers, cups, labels, corks, unidentified chemicals and recycled bottles as well as assorted labels.
“In one of the shops, the smell was so pungent that we could not even recover the materials and had to destroy them right there.
“This is why we find the incidences of cancer to be high in this country because we don’t know what we drink.
“I will like to use this medium to tell people to destroy the cups, plastics or bottles after use because not doing so encourages these illegal producers,” Ejiofor advised.
He further advised retailers and consumers to issue and collect receipts for every product purchased to ensure tradability and tracking.
He said the arrested suspects; five males and four females, would be interrogated and prosecuted while the recovered items, especially the chemicals will be taken to NAFDAC laboratory for analysis.
Ejiofor, while urging members of the public to come forth with information on such nefarious activities, assured them that credible information provided to the agency will not be divulged.
Dr Christiana Esenwah, a Deputy Director of NAFDAC, added that the exercise was in continuation of an earlier raid in December 2015 to mop up all imported fruit drinks.
Esenwah noted that besides the imported fruit drinks, the NAFDAC team also confiscated diverted United Nation condoms, injectables and prescription drugs.
She said: “We saw illegal tramadol (200mg) and all sorts of aphrodisiacs that are very enunciating and obscene with some terrible labels.
“Some registered products which the illegal manufacturers changed the label were also recovered.
“This is a call for traders and the totality of the citizens of this country to be vigilant.
“It is heartbreaking to know that such illicit business was going on there and people are just going about their businesses.
“People should know the type of job they are been offered and what their neighbours are doing for a living. We say in NAFDAC, Shine your eye”.
NAFDAC uncovers illegal wine factories in Onitsha, arrests 9 suspects NAFDAC uncovers illegal wine factories in Onitsha, arrests 9 suspects Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Rating: 5

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