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240 shops raided in Abia for counterfeiting products



…goods worth over N700 million seized

Officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have shut down  240 shops in Cemetery Road Market, Aba in Abia state over counterfeiting of drugs over N700 million. 

This was revealed by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye who said that the raid which brought about the closure of about 240 shops was carried out within the first two weeks of December 2023 and that many such raids had been going on in the country. 

She decried the increase in the number of counterfeiters in the country and charged the citizens to be more careful of what they buy and consume as most of these counterfeit products that included beverages and consumables had adverse and long-term health implications for those who consumed them. 

“We have carried out raids in different parts of the country and we have seized goods worth millions of naira. The latest raid is the one that happened at Cemetery Road Market in Aba. NAFDAC intercepted counterfeiters engaged in the production of a variety of beverages including wines, non-alcoholics, alcoholics and consumables. 

“This was achieved due to several weeks of intelligence gathering and we were able to carry out a sting operation and burst  the criminal activities in the market that had been going on for a long time and were now like a cartel. Some of the activities of the nefarious counterfeiters included the production of all kinds of wines from a wide variety of brands ranging from schnapps, Dry Gin, Hennessy, Four Cousins, Chelsea, London Dry Gin, and Gordons. 

“They also counterfeited non-alcoholic beverages like Eva wine and Coca-Cola products. The criminals re-validated expired products and all of these operations were carried out in a less than conducive environment with water that was not pure. During the raid about 240 shops were closed down and 1500 cartons of the counterfeited products were destroyed. 300 cartons were seized and 10 persons were arrested at the scene of the crime and will be charged to court. The goods destroyed and seized from this illegal operation were valued at about N700 million,” she said. 

She urged Nigerians to always buy their beverages from reputable super markets and to avoid any deals that were too good to be true as they could possibly be selling counterfeited drugs. 

“Nigerians need to use the ‘Fours Ps’ when they are shopping. They should ensure that where they are buying their beverages are reputable supermarkets and not just roadside stalls. 

“They should also not fall victims if the prices are too low to be believable. If the prices are low then the product may not be from a good source. 

“Packaging of the product is also very important. If the seal of the package is broken or it looks odd then it probably may be the work of the counterfeiters. If the product smells badly then that is another sign that it is a bad or counterfeited product and consumers should look out for all these signs. 

“Overall the product itself must be checked to ensure that it is not contaminated or a bad one. The World Health Organization(WHO) study in 2019 shows that alcohol consumption is tied to various cancers.”

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