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NAFDAC nabs man, 30, for faking product registration

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By Nosa Akenzua

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has nabbed a 30-year-old man, Odii Chigoziam, for counterfeiting of products and the use of fake registration number in Onitsha, Anambra State.

The Deputy Director, Investigation and Enforcement (South East and South South) of NAFDAC while briefing newsmen on the incident in Asaba, Delta State capital, said the suspect was handed over to the agency by the Police in Onitsha for further investigation and prosecution.

According to Esenwah, the Area Commander of Police in Onitsha handed over the suspect to the office of investigation and enforcement directorate of NAFDAC on Tuesday.

Dr. Esenwah noted that the products would be subjected to laboratory tests to determine their component, adding that the products were fake and definitely harmful.

She mentioned some of the products and items recovered from the suspect to include several cartons of Olive oil, Balm, 100 liters of paraffin oil as raw material, corks bottles and labels of various kinds designed for the fake products.

“The suspect was caught with all the items displayed and 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 oils 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 this and to get the accomplices in the crime,” she said.

The NAFDAC boss said the agency would do everything within its powers to unravel other syndicates and accomplices in the fake business.

The suspect, a secondary school leaver, said he had been in the business of faking the olive oil and other products since 2015 and had been based in Onitsha.

“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.

“I am the sole producer, I have no company, I started this business since 2015,” he added.

He said that he faked the products and had used the NAFDAC registration number on the labels of original products to make the products look real.

Chigoziam who said that most of the raw materials used for production are purchased from the open market however claimed that he had made several attempts to register his own products with the NAFDAC but failed due to the hard conditions of the agency.

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