The National Agency for Food Administration, Drugs and Control (NAFDAC) has impounded over 500 cartons of fake and adulterated Chelsea Dry Gin and Squadron Dark Rum worth about N3million in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The agency also arrested four persons, including two females, suspected to be involved in the manufacturing and marketing of fake Chelsea Dry Gin and Squadron Dark Rum in the state capital.
The fake and adulterated products were discovered following a raid carried out by officials of NAFDAC, in collaboration with International Distillers, manufacturers of the products, and a detachment of anti-riot policemen from the Rivers State Police Command.
It was further gathered that the raid was carried out at the Creek Road Market in Old Port Harcourt, Mile One (Rumuwoji) market, and Mile Three market, all in Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
While two of the suspects, Jane Ikemefuna and Ndubisi Amaefula were arrested at the Creek Road Market, the other two, Mike Akagbuo and Nkeiruka Adieme were nabbed at the Mile One and Mile three markets, respectively.
Speaking to newsmen on the arrests and seizure of the illicit products, a NAFDAC Chief Regulatory Officer, Ms. Mercy Ndukwe, said the agency embarked on the raid after receiving a report from International Distillers over the existence of fake brands of Chelsea Dry Gin and Squadron Dark Rum in Port Harcourt.
Ndukwe said: “NAFDAC received a report from Intercontinental Distillers of the existence of fake brand of Chelsea dry gin and Squadron dark rum in Port Harcourt which made NAFDAC officials swing into action and impound the fake and unwholesome products.”
She said the fake products have been evacuated to NAFDAC office, adding that those arrested will face the full wright of the law while investigations are on-going to track down other members of the syndicate who are on the run.
Ndukwe advised the general public to avoid patronising questionable sources and always buy their products from company’s representatives and accredited distributors adding that the adulterated products can cause renal failure and other adverse health conditions because the agency did not analyse whatever concoctions that were used in producing the fake products.
Also speaking, the Sales Operation Manager of International Distillers Limited, Mr. Isaac Oladele Agbana attributed the decline in sale of their products in Port Harcourt area to the nefarious activities of illegal producers.
Agbana warned the public to beware of cheap Chelsea Dry Gin and Squadron Dark Rum products and always patronise genuine/accredited dealers. He disclosed that the company no longer produces small sized Chelsea in glass bottles but in pet or plastic bottles.