A member of a drug cloning syndicate, Mr. Maduabuchi Abuzu, has been arrested by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Lagos, for importing fake drugs into the country.
Abuzu, for at least two years, has been on NAFDAC’s watch list of fake drug importers, and was arrested in his home in Iganmu, Lagos, a statement by the agency’s Public Relations Unit on Thursday, said.
Fake drugs worth over N20m were discovered and machines used for packaging them were found in his home at the time of his arrest.
The Director of Enforcement, NAFDAC, Mr. Garba Macdonald, confirmed the arrest, saying, “The arrest of Maduabuchi was a major breakthrough in the fight to stem the activities of the syndicate.
“In the last two years, he had brought into the country fake drugs with his partners in China.”
Macdonald said the suspect confessed to being in partnership with some people in China, and imported these drugs through this means.”
It was learnt that Abuzu used his house as a warehouse for the drugs, like coartem tablets, amalar tablets and many more.
However, the suspect is assisting NAFDAC in its investigations, a source close to the agency said.
A source said the country was collaborating with the Chinese government to unravel the suspects behind the fake drugs production, and punish them accordingly.
The source said, “The agency is determined to take advantage of its collaboration with the Chinese government in the fight against fake drugs.
“This is to ensure that when investigations are concluded in Nigeria the culprits will be punished according to their drug counterfeiting laws.”
The syndicate was said to have perfected its cloning act in China and thereafter imported the drugs into the country.
Macdonald said NAFDAC was highly determined in evacuating fake drugs from the country, urging Nigerians to report anything suspicious to the agency.
He said, “The agency is determined to rid the country of fake and unwholesome drugs. All Nigerians are to report any suspicious activity to relating to NAFDAC regulated products around their community for immediate action.”
An official from one of the victimised companies, said, “This will send a strong signal to the likes of Maduabuchi still on the run.
“The activities of the syndicate are capable of putting government’s initiative of encouraging local production of essential drugs into jeopardy.”