NAFDAC warns against counterfeit margarine, arrests suspects

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has arrested one Michael Owerekwe, an importer of counterfeit Super Delicieur Cooking Margarine.

Speaking on Monday at the NAFDAC office in Lagos, the agency’s acting Director-General, Mrs Monica Eimunjeze, added that a distributor of the banned potassium bromate tablets, Joseph Rapoluchukwu, was arrested on December 5, 2022.

Eimunjeze warned Nigerians to be wary of the injurious products.

She stated that 115 cartons of potassium bromate tablets with a street value of N28,750,000.00 were found on Rapoluchukwu when NAFDAC officers raided a warehouse in the Apongbon area of Lagos Island.

Eimunjeze revealed that 46-year-old Owerekwe, of 12 Boundary Street, Aba, Abia State, imported 400 cartons of the counterfeit Super Delicieur cooking margarine from Dubai and cleared it at Onne Port, Port Harcourt.

She added, “Also discovered in (Rapoluchukwu’s) warehouse was a counterfeit EDC Bread Improver, packed in sachets with a fake NAFDAC registration number of 01-4242, valued at N300,000.

“As you are aware, potassium bromate is a banned flour improver globally because it is known, as a cancer-causing agent. It can also cause kidney failure, among other ailments.

“Owerekwe, at the point of his arrest, upon seeing the operatives, he destroyed his mobile phone so that the evidence will not be traced to him,” she added. He also fought the operatives but was instantly overpowered, arrested, and taken into custody.

“He confirmed that he did, in fact, import 400 cartons of the product from Dubai via an online group purchase and cleared them at Onne Port, Port Harcourt. He claimed that the shipment was delivered to him by a clearing agent, whose name he did not yet disclose.

“He also admitted to distributing the product to markets across the country.

“Preliminary examination of the product showed that the actual manufacturer’s name was not written, but produced for a company in Indonesia.

“The public is urged to keep an eye out for these harmful products anywhere in the country and to report any suspected fake, counterfeit, or unwholesome product to any nearby NAFDAC office.”

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