Fake drinks worth N1.5m were seized in a raid on Cemetery Market in Aba, Abia State by the Police and the officials of two distilleries, in whose names the counterfeited products were made.
According to Mr Isaac Agbana, the Sales Manager for East 1 Region of Intercontinental Distillers Ltd to journalists, their sales had been affected by the adulteration. The other company that had fallen victim to the adulteration was Grand Oak Ltd.
He disclosed the brands being faked as Seaman’s Schnapps, Chelsea Dry Gin, Squadron Dark Rum, Lords Dry Gin, Calypso, Bacchus, Eagle Majesty Aromatic Schnapps, Veleta Fruit Juice and Dark Sailor.
“A lot of traders are engaging in the counterfeiting of our products with the real names, which in turn confuses other traders and consumers.
“This adulteration affected our sales, and we had to call in the Police and other relevant agencies to put an end to it.
“The suspects use blue food colour to cocotte the items for somebody to drink; you can imagine the effect it will have on someone’s body system.
“Apart from HIV, I don’t think there is another sickness that can kill as fast as cancer.
“Cancer can kill faster than HIV and if you take these fake products there are possibilities of having lung and liver cancer,’’ he said.
In his words, the Regional Manager, East/South-South, Mr Elijah Apanishile, called on the Federal Government to enact adequate legislation to stop adulteration of products. He also commended the Police, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and other law enforcement agencies in the fight against fake products.
A senior Police officer, who preferred anonymity, said that five persons had been arrested in connection with the incident.