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NAFDAC Discovers a Warehouse of Banned Potassium Bromate Tablets

 By G9ija

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has uncovered a warehouse in Lagos containing potassium bromate tablets and an unregistered imported bread improver.

The Agency has also arrested two people in connection with the importation and distribution of the banned products.

Disclosing this yesterday during a press conference on the arrest of the perpetrators in Lagos, the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Dr Monica Eimunjeze explained that potassium bromate is a banned flour improver globally as it is a known cancer-causing agent.

Ejimunjeze said the product has been found to cause kidney failure among other ailments.

“Potassium bromate popularly known as tablets in the black economy is always attractive to merchants of death who want to make an outrageous profit at the expense of citizens’ wellbeing. NAFDAC wishes to state that there are recommended healthy flour improvers approved by the Agency.”

She explained that apart from improving the texture of a loaf, it also increases its volume and it is relatively cheap.

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“For example, the seized tablets could be used with three hundred thousand (300,000) bags of 50kg flour to produce about thirty (30) million family-sized loaves of bread.”

Giving into the raid that led to the discovery of the ugly situation, she said: “On 7th December 2022, NAFDAC officers raided a warehouse in the Apongbon area of Lagos Island in Lagos where they found one hundred and fifteen (115) cartons of Potassium bromate tablets. The tablets have a street value of N28, 750,000:00.

She added that the NAFDAC enforcement team also found in the warehouse counterfeit EDC Bread Improver, packed in sachets with a fake NAFDAC registration number 01-4242, worth N300,000:00.

Meanwhile, two people have been arrested in connection with the importation and distribution of the banned products

She gave their names as; one Rapoluchukwu Joseph who is the importer.

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Other counterfeit products found in the warehouse include; 400 cartons of counterfeit super delicious cooking margarine with fake NAFDAC registration number:- (a1-2508) and Manufactured date:- 25/01/2022, Expiry date:- 25/01/2024 with various batch numbers.

She further disclosed that the NAFDAC had since the 9th of September, 2022, commenced an investigation which led its operatives to a long span of operations at four (4) States of the Federation namely; Kano, Kaduna, Delta, Abia and Lagos States.

“After rigorous and painstaking efforts, the Agency’s operatives traced and arrested one Owerekwe Obinna Michael ‘male’ 46 years of 12 Boundry Street, Aba, Abia State as the importer of the counterfeit product.

“At the point of his arrest, the suspect upon sighting the operatives completely destroyed his mobile phone so that the evidence will not be traced to him. He also fought the operatives but was instantly overpowered, arrested and taken into custody.

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“He confirmed that he actually imported four hundred (400) cartons of the product with the above details from Dubai through groupage and cleared 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.”

She enjoined Nigerians to watch out for these injurious products anywhere in the country and report the same or any suspected fake/counterfeit or unwholesome product to any nearest NAFDAC Office.

She warned that henceforth, any flour product containing potassium bromate will be confiscated while the producer will be made to face the wrath of the law

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