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NAFDAC Cracks Down on Counterfeit Alcohol Ring In Aba, Seizes Fake Goods Worth N750m

In a significant operation, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has made a major breakthrough in its fight against counterfeit goods, particularly adulterated alcoholic beverages, in Eziukwu Market (Cemetery Market) Aba, Abia State.

NAFDAC’s Director General, Moji Adeyeye, announced the successful raid, revealing that 10 suspects were apprehended and an estimated N750 million worth of fake and substandard products, including wines, soft drinks, and consumables, were seized.

The operation, conducted in collaboration with other security agencies, followed weeks of intelligence gathering to dismantle what Adeyeye referred to as the activities of “merchants of death.”

The counterfeiters, operating as a well-organized cartel, were found to manufacture a variety of fake alcoholic products imitating popular brands such as Seaman Schnapps, Henessy, Four Cousins, and others.

The criminal operations extended to date revalidation for expired products and the packaging of fake and substandard items, which were later sold to unsuspecting consumers.

The scale of the illegal operation led NAFDAC to raid over 240 shops-turned-factories where these harmful products were being produced and marketed.

Adeyeye highlighted the appalling conditions of these makeshift factories, describing them as filthy, using unhygienic water sources, harmful chemicals, recycled bottles, and cloned packaging materials.

During the operation, over 1500 cartons of the counterfeit products were destroyed, and another 300 cartons were evacuated to NAFDAC’s warehouse.

Adeyeye emphasized the grave consequences of consuming adulterated alcohol, citing potential health risks such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and, in extreme cases, kidney and liver failure leading to death.

Due to the magnitude of the illegality, NAFDAC temporarily shut down the entire market for thorough regulatory activities, only reopening after stakeholders committed to preventing such activities in the future.

As Nigerians approach the festive season, NAFDAC urged vigilance and provided essential tips for consumers to identify genuine products.

Adeyeye emphasized the “4 Ps”: Place (buy from registered and licensed retailers), Price (beware of unusually low prices), Packaging (check for quality and intact seals), and Product (watch for unusual smells).

NAFDAC reiterated its commitment to reducing the prevalence of counterfeit products nationwide and assured the public that efforts to apprehend those involved in these criminal activities would continue.

The seized goods have an estimated street value of N750 million, underscoring the severity of the threat posed by these counterfeiters to public health and safety.

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