The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Tuesday, apprehended a 30-year-old man in Onitsha, Anambra State for counterfeiting products and using fake registration numbers.
Briefing newsmen on the arrests in Asaba the Delta State capital, the Deputy Director, Investigation and Enforcement (South East and South-South), NAFDAC, Dr Christiana Esenwah, said the suspect was handed over to the agency by the police in Onitsha for further investigation and prosecution.
According to her, the products would be subjected to laboratory tests to determine their component, as they were fake and definitely harmful.
She listed some of the products recovered to include several cartons of olive oil, balm, 100 litres of paraffin oil as raw material, corks, bottles and labels of various kinds designed for the fake products.
She noted that the agency would do all within its powers to unravel other syndicates and accomplices in the criminal acts.
She said, “The suspect was caught with all the items displayed and he is involved in illegal packaging of olive oil and products of other companies. The suspect was also caught with 100 litres of paraffin oil with which he produces the products being packaged into the bottles.
“We recovered 13 cartons of counterfeited olive oil of different brands, 100 litres of paraffin oil, balms, different labels, printing materials, cartons of empty bottles and corks among other items used for the packaging of the counterfeit products.
“The olive oil and one of the balms had NAFDAC registration number on them. The products are fake and I can tell you that they are hazardous and injurious to health. We are continuing with our investigation to unravel all these and to get the accomplices in the crime.”
Meanwhile, the suspect, a secondary school leaver who gave his name as Odii Chigoziam, said he had been in the business of faking the olive oil and others since 2015 and had been based in Onitsha.
He admitted to faking the products and using the NAFDAC registration number on the labels of the original products to make them look real.
Also, the suspect claimed that he had made several attempts to register his own products with NAFDAC but failed due to certain conditions of the agency.
He noted that most of the raw materials he used for the production of the products were purchased from the open market.
“I am the sole producer, I have no company, I started this business since 2015. I stop my education in secondary school. I know that the products are counterfeit but I would not have been faking the products if NAFDAC had approved my products. I produce and sell the counterfeited products based on demand,” the suspect said.
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