NAFDAC makes arrests at site of illegal distilleries in Akwa Ibom

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it has discovered the site of an illegal factory in Akwa Ibom that makes and distributes adulterated alcoholic beverages.

The agency’s Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, disclosed that the factory was discovered in Afaha Obong in Abak Local Government Area of the state.

Adeyeye further revealed that the factory which is hidden in a remote community has been falsifying and circulating various brands of alcoholic beverages for several years unhindered until stakeholders lodged a report at NAFDAC.

“NAFDAC has uncovered an illegal factory which specialises in falsifying and circulating fake alcoholic beverages at Afaha Obong, Abak LGA of Akwa Ibom.

We gathered that the factory had existed in the remote village for years, producing fake alcoholic beverages of local and foreign brands unhindered.

“Agents of Diageo Nigeria Limited, distributors of Hennessy, Black Label and Baileys lodged a consumer’s complaints and that led to the discovery of the factory,’’ she said.

Adedeye said that the NAFDAC team was able to penetrate the area due to backup assistance received from the Nigerian Police Force.

She said that evidence of adulteration of different brands was discovered at the site, adding that though the owner 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, cocks and already finished products were found in the premises.

“The kingpin, Mr Peter Etokakpan was not found during the raid but his wife, Mrs. Uyime Etokakpan, who is also a partner in the illegal business, was arrested.

She added that NAFDAC officials could not enter the production room due to the heavy metal barricade and threat of violence created by the arrested woman.

“It was almost leading to a riotous situation as young men and women started almost, violently to attack the NAFDAC team,’’ she said.

She said that the case would be transferred to the Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC for further action.

Adedeye 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 commence registration processes if they were interested in producing or circulating any NAFDAC regulated product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *