The National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has confiscated counterfeit alcoholic drinks worth more than one million naira in separate raids in Onitsha and Aba markets.

Dr Christiana Esenwah, Deputy Director, NAFDAC’s Directorate of Investigation and Enforcement, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Asaba.

She said that the raids followed a petition by Mowet -Hennessy Group, makers of Mowet and Hennessy spirit drinks.

She said the agency’s enforcement task force for South-South and South-East received a petition from Jackson Etti & Edu Co. legal representative of the Mowet and Hennessy Group on Aug. 18, 2022.

”We got a petition from the legal representative of the Mowet-Hennessy Group that some unscrupulous persons are faking their brands in the market.

”So, we first of all undertook a thorough surveillance to determine the source and location of the said counterfeit drinks.

”After that, we then swung into action to carry out sanction on those carrying out the illegal activities.

”When we got there, we discovered they were using recycled bottles with the trade mark of the original owners of the Mowet and Hennessy brands.

”What they do is to put their own labels on the bottle, use super glue to seal the corks and sell the counterfeit drinks to the public,” Esenwah said.

She said that the agency’s taskforce team also discovered empty bottles, corks and assorted packaging materials being used in the illegal production.

According to her, no fewer than 10 cartons of counterfeit Mowet and Hennessy drinks with a market value of over one million naira were recovered from the various shops in Aba and Onitsha.

The NAFDAC deputy director said that before the agency’s team got to the market, the perpetrators had gotten a tip off and ran away from their shops.

She, however, said that the taskforce recovered exhibits used in the production of the counterfeit drinks from the suspects’ shops.

Esenwah said the NAFDAC team got the line chairmen at the market to witness what was going on and also help the taskforce to produce the suspects for interrogation.

”I want to appeal to members of the public to be wary of the products they are buying in the open market most especially during the Christmas season.

”People should rather go to reputable stores and supermarkets to buy their products because most times, what you are buying is not what you actually want to buy.

”The content of these counterfeit products could be highly hazardous because the alcohol used in the production are not food grade.

”This is why these products are usually sold at very cheap prices compared to the price of the original products,” she said.

The NAFDAC deputy director said that the agency’s taskforce would return to the markets to effect the arrest of the suspects if they failed to come forward for interrogation.