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NAFDAC uncovers warehouse where fraudsters change expiration dates of organic energy drink imported from the UK

Jun 22, 2023 #National News

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control,  NAFDAC, says it has uncovered a warehouse in Aba, Abia state where a certain brand of organic energy drink were being re-validated. 

Six suspected counterfeiters were arrested over the importation, distribution and sale of the unregistered and expired organic energy drinks in Delta and Anambra States.

Parading two of the suspects before newsmen,  the Director-General of NAFDAC, Moji Adeyeye, said one Mr Okeke Udeze Francis was arrested with expired G-Man organic energy drink in Onitsha while Mr Uchenna Nwachi was arrested through one Mr Collins in Aba, Abia state. She said further investigation led to the warehouse in Aba, where evidence of revalidation of the expiry date of the drink was established.

Stating that the case has been transferred to the office of the Director, Investigation and Enforcement Directorate in Lagos, Adeyeye said Okeke had admitted to dealing with the product (G-Man energy drink) and stated that he got the product from one Uchenna Nwachi through one Collins in Aba, Abia state.  “Following this revelation, the investigation was intensified to get the other suspects arrested.” 

Adeyeye added that further investigation revealed that the violative G-Man energy drink was manufactured in Germany and was imported into Nigeria when some of the products were already expired, and some were close to expiry (and later expired after importation).

“The expiry dates on the products when imported were 18/12/2020 and 18/12/2022. The violative products were sent to Nigeria by one Mr Paschal Emeka Udo, who is said to be based in the United Kingdom. Mr Wilson John who was an accomplice in the case was later  arrested after we extracted a video recording of him cleaning the original date markings on the products with the intent to affix an extended date marking on the G-Man energy drink.”

Adeyeye described the situation as a case of food fraud and stated that Uchenna Nwachi, who contracted out the re-validation of the product to Wilson (a staff of the importer) has also been arrested and in custody. She said two of the suspects including the importer of the products are still at large and efforts are still on to arrest them.

She said the suspects in custody will be charged in court.

In a related development, Adeyeye disclosed that the agency has arrested a notorious drug counterfeiter of medicines and narcotic drugs merchant, Emmanuel Obidike, the Managing Director of Tof match Investment Ltd,  Onitsha. She said intelligence tracking of a suspected importer of fake Basslox capsules (ampicillin 250mg + cloxacillin 250mg) lead to the arrest of the infamous counterfeit medicines and narcotics drugs importer and distributor, Mr Emmanuel Obidike.

“Painstaking surveillance and investigation on the reported case of Basslox capsules lead to the arrest of one Mr Anayo Okoye who eventually led us to Mr Emmanuel Obidike who is a notorious importer of counterfeit medicines.”he said

She said Obidike is known in the underworld counterfeit drugs trade as “Emma to-match”,  a fallout of his criminal act of counterfeiting popular brands of drugs. She said he was caught with some international brands of drugs, packaging materials and security materials that were recovered from the warehouse of Obidike. She said the Marketing Authorisation Holders of the international brands confirmed that the products recovered from Mr Emmanuel Obidike were not from their company and therefore were fake.

She disclosed that the two suspects have been arraigned at Federal High Court in Awka Anambra state.

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