NIGERIA – The National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Kano has arrested three persons and confiscated 250 cartons of concentrated juice said to be illegally produced in the state.
The products were confiscated from one Garba Yahaya of Kwana Hudu-Brigade. He was accused of illegal production and distribution in the state.
Lat year, Kano State was faced with a case of counterfeit concentrated juice that led to the death of at least 10 persons, while hundreds others were hospitalized, with some later developing kidney complications.
Pharm. Shaba Mohammed, NAFDAC Kano State Coordinator, who disclosed the arrest and confiscation to journalists in Kano, said the raid followed the arrest of three suspects selling the fake juice to unsuspecting members of the public.
“We discovered that at the traffic junctions, some people are selling concentrated juice. We became curious and sent our team there. We were able to arrest three of them with some of the wares, we brought them to the office,” he said.
Mohammed noted that the hawkers’ interrogation led the team to arrest the producer, who confessed to have been buying it from the market. On heading to the stated location, the agency spotted 40 cartons of the product all having a NAFDAC number.
“But in the office during interrogation, he confessed that some people used to bring the product to him but now they stopped, so he decided to go ahead and do it himself. We followed him to where he is doing it; incidentally, it is his house. And where he is doing this thing is very filthy, very close to a pit latrine,” he said.
The coordinator informed that the suspect owned up to have been producing the juice with a fake NAFDAC registration number he acquired from his business associate.
“We counted about 160 cartons and those that have not been counted are estimated at about 100 cartons. We are talking about over 250 cartons from his shop, warehouse and production site,” he added.
The NAFDAC boss said they had already sealed the warehouse and production site. He urged the general public to desist from buying juice from roadside hawkers and to patronize supermarkets.
He said the culprit would be handed over to the appropriate unit of NAFDAC for further investigation and prosecution.
“I want to call on the general public to beware of buying juice at junctions or in traffic. I think it is better you go to supermarkets where you get registered products because these people won’t have the confidence of approaching supermarkets with their fake products,” he counselled.