The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control
(NAFDAC), arrested 9 suspects in connecting with “fake” wine and beverage manufacturing factories at Relief.Market, Onitsha.
This followed a special raid and enforcement operation of Federal Government’s ban on imported fruit juices on Wednesday in Onitsha.
NAFDAC Head, Investigation and Enforcement, Kingsley Ejiofor, said those nabbed were involved In the bottling of unwholesome, counterfeit and dangerous drinks. His words:
“We came here for a special assignment to mop up all counterfeit and prohibited products which include imported fruit juices, food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, detergent and bottled water,among others.
“We were able to uncover illegal manufacturers of bottle, unwholesome and dangerous chemicals, they call wine and spirits. It was so.disheartening.”
Mr. Ejiofor said that popular brands of beverages 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 being faked.
According to him, the beverages were being produced in unhygienic factories with cockroaches.
He listed items found in the factories to include; stoves, colourants, plastic containers, cups, labels, corks, unidentified chemicals and recycled bottles.
“ 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 cups, plastics or bottles after use because not doing so encourages these illegal producers,” Mr. Ejiofor said.
He further advised retailers and consumers to issue and collect receipts for every product purchased to enable tracking.
Ejiofor said the arrested suspects, five men and four ladies, would be interrogated and prosecuted. The recovered items, especially the chemicals would be taken to NAFDAC laboratory for analysis.