The National Agency of Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested members of a forgery syndicate which specialises in the forgery of NAFDAC number, certificates and documents from government agencies.
Representing the Acting Director of NAFDAC, Yetunde Oni, the Director of Enforcement, Kingsley Ejiofor, who disclosed this to journalists in Lagos said the syndicate was busted after the agency investigated complaints from three countries, about some Nigerians that posed as NAFDAC officials to process some registration documents for intending importers of regulated products.
Complaints had been received from different countries, including the High Commission of Nigeria in New Delhi, India on behalf of a firm called Bharti Phosphates, a German manufacturer of pet food supplement
Among the documents recovered were; certificates of registration bearing the forged signature of Acting DG of NAFDAC, documents from government agencies including the Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal High Court and a payment verification form from a non-existent ‘Barclays Bank’.
Investigations revealed that an international criminal group lead by Eze Okoronkwo, a resident of Aba, Abia State was behind the fraud.
According to Ejiofor, “Okoronkwo had other Nigerian collaborators, Indian collaborators as well as nationals of Philippines, Tunisia, El-Salvador, the United States, Canada, Mauritania, Denmark, Mexico, Greece, Switzerland, Indonesia and Republic of South Korea who all acted as brokers to the syndicate”.
He added that the group had obtained $13,640 and was waiting to get $57,720.
The NAFDAC DG added that the group targeted brokers with dollar or euro accounts with a promise that the broker would be entitled to 30 per cent or 40 per cent of the proceeds of the venture.
In a related development, the agency has paraded a distributor of fake Peak milk and a manufacturer of fake water used in mixing injections.
Ejiofor however informed that all cases would be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution.