The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has arrested a 24-year-old man, Mr. Victor Okeke, for allegedly selling expired products.
The agency also discovered a factory in the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos State, loaded with expired food condiments, said to worth millions of naira.
NAFDAC alleged that Okeke was the owner of the factory and the expired products.
It was learnt that the factory was discovered after a special raid and enforcement operation on some markets in the state by officers of the agency.
The leader of the NAFDAC team, who is also the Assistant Director, Enforcement Operations, Mr. Shaba Mohammed, said the factory was being used to stock, re-validate and distribute expired products, particularly food condiments.
Some of the expired products discovered include expired Maggi sauce, Amoy Dark Soy sauce, Costa corned beef and Exeter corned beef.
It was noted that the suspect changed the labels of Costa corned beef to Exeter corned beef to attract patronage.
Mohammed said the Agency has been on the trail of the owner of the factory following intelligence report on his activities.
He said, “The suspect was caught re-validating the expiry dates of the Maggi sauce and Amoy soy sauce, smuggled into the country from Ghana, from expiry dates of 2014 to August 2016.
“The suspect has refused to give useful information regarding the whereabouts of over 902 cartons of expired Maggi sauce already pushed into the market. But the agency will be charging him to court for counterfeiting.
“We have evacuated the remaining products in the factory. Some of the products were not registered by NAFDAC. The products were smuggled in from Ghana.
“What we found on the ground here cannot be consumed.
“We saw two drums filled with water which he uses to immerse the products and the labels will be detached without any trace.
“He will then replaced the labels with re-validated labels.”
Muhammed said consuming the products already pushed into the market could lead to liver and kidney diseases which were on the rise in the country.
He further explained that the sauces are sodium-based products that could lead to hypertension if consumed.
The suspect, Okeke, who claimed to hail from Njikoka in Anambra State, said he was forced to re-validate the dates in order to recover the money he spent in importing the products.
He said, “The goods expired after I have sold over 100 cartons.
“When the products got expired in my hands, I decided to change the products’ details in order to recoup my money.”