The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said that it had arrested and investigated Mr. Olisaemeka Osefoh for importation of counterfeit medicines worth N106, 210, 000, into the country.
The agency’s Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii, who disclosed this at a press conference said, following a tip-off, operatives from NAFDAC investigation and enforcement directorate raided a warehouse located at Progressive Traders Market known for the sales of jewelleries and cosmetic products, within Trade Fair Complex, Badagry Expressway, Lagos.
According to the DG the products were deliberately packed in plain cartons and wrapped in sacks to conceal their real identities, stressing that of note is that the Mycoten cream and Neurogesic ointment were labelled as manufactured in Nigeria, although they were imported.
He said the culprit had been interrogated and his statement taken and had confessed being in business with a cartel based in China where the products were sourced and stored in their warehouse before being shipped to Nigeria. He added that he had also given investigators information on how the medicines were illegally cleared through Tincan Island Port, Lagos.
Orhii said recent discovery has revealed that the drug counterfeiters now operate from markets that deal on other commodities so as not to draw the attention of law enforcement agencies on their nefarious activities.
‘’However, I want to reiterate that there will be no sacred cow in the fight against counterfeit medicines, any counterfeiter arrested will be prosecuted according to the law of the land,’’ he said.
He therefore appealed to members of the public, landlords and market unions to report any suspicious activity relating to NAFDAC-regulated products around their community to the nearest NAFDAC office for immediate action and see it as part of their contribution in the fight against counterfeit and fake products.
Orhii also assured Nigerians that the agency is working closely with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria to track down the criminal company in China who connived with the suspect (Osefoh), to ship into the country the counterfeit medicines. The agency, he noted, has enjoined the support and cooperation of the Chinese Embassy in the fight against drug counterfeiting in the country.