The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has uncovered an illegal factory at Akwa Ibom State that produces and circulates 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 falsifying and circulating various brands of alcoholic beverages for several years unhindered until stakeholders lodged a report at NAFDAC.
She said: “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 Diego Nigeria Limited, distributors of Hennessy, Black Label and Baileys lodged a consumer’s complaints and that led to the discovery of the factory.”
Adeyeye said NAFDAC team was able to penetrate the area due to the security back up by the Nigeria Police Force.
She said evidences of the falsification of different 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, cocks and already finished products were found in the premises.
She added: “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 said 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.
Adeyeye said the case would be transferred to the Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC for further action.
The DG said the NAFDAC team also uncovered another alcoholic beverage factory, Sir Bigman Industries Limited, producers of Bigman products, at Ikot Ekpene.
She said: “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.”
Adeyeye warned counterfeiters to desist from their unwholesome practice and commence registration processes if they were interested in producing or circulating any NAFDAC regulated product.