The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has uncovered an illegal factory at Akwa Ibom that produced and circulated fake alcoholic beverages.
NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, in a statement on Friday in Abuja said the factory was discovered at Afaha Obong in Abak Local Government Area.
Adeyeye disclosed that the factory, located in that remote community, had been faking and distributing various brands of alcoholic beverages for several years, until stakeholders lodged a report at NAFDAC.
“NAFDAC has uncovered an illegal factory which specialised in faking and distributing fake alcoholic beverages at Afaha Obong, Abak LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
“We gathered that the factory had existed in the remote village for years, producing fake alcoholic beverages of local and foreign brands unhindered.
Adeyeye said NAFDAC team was able to penetrate the area due to the security back-up by the Nigeria Police Force.
She said that evidences of the faking of different alcoholic drink brands were discovered at the location, adding that, though the proprietor of the factory escaped, his wife was arrested.
According to the DG, thousands of empty bottles of different brands of alcoholic beverages, labels, empty cartons of drinks, corks and finished products were found in the premises.
“The suspected kingpin, Mr. Peter Etokakpan, was not found during the raid; but his wife, Mrs. Uyime Etokakpan, who is also suspected to be a partner in the illegal business, was arrested,” Adeyeye said.
She added that NAFDAC officials could not enter the production room due to the heavy metal barricade and threat of violence allegedly created by the suspect.
“It was almost leading to a riotous situation, as young men and women almost violently started to attack the NAFDAC team,’’ she said.
She said that the case would be transferred to the Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC for further action.
The DG said that the NAFDAC team also uncovered another alcoholic beverage factory, Sir Bigman Industries Limited, producers of Bigman products at Ikot Ekpene.
“The company was previously registered by NAFDAC but its license had expired and the owner started faking other companies’ products which they produced in a very unhygienic condition,’’ she said.
She warned counterfeiters to desist from their unwholesome practice and advised them to commence registration processes if they are interested in producing or circulating any NAFDAC-regulated product.
Reporting from Uyo Akwa Ibom by Bassey Sunday