The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has apprehended a Chinese, Zhao Chum, and a clearing agent, Christian Ohia, for allegedly smuggling unregistered and controlled chemicals into the country.
PUNCH reports that the Ports Inspection Directorate of NAFDAC got information that the substance (Urea Formaldehyde Resin powder) was smuggled into the country in two containers through the Lagos Sea Port.
The substance was then transferred to Chum’s furniture company in Ogun state where it was impounded and brought to NAFDAC office in Oshodi, Lagos.
NAFDAC handed over Chum and Ohia to the Lagos state police command.
Chum said that the substance is used to hold furniture together.
“This glue is from China. Everyone can buy it. I am not an importer. I gave this job to an agent. The agent did not tell me anything. NAFDAC people came to look for the agent. After arresting him, they arrested me too. You can come to my factory and see what I use the substances for. It is to hold furniture together,” he said.
However, the acting Director-General of NAFDAC, Yetunde Oni said that the substance was impounded because its importation is controlled and can be use to make explosives.
“The substance is now in NAFDAC’s warehouse. The director of the company, Zhao Chum, and his clearing agent, Christian Ohia, have been arrested. They are assisting NAFDAC to unravel the supply chain,” Oni added.
In a similar development, NAFDAC has in its recent operations in Gembu, Taraba impounded unregistered drugs worth N15 million.
The impounded drugs included Tramadol and Sildenafil combination.
Joseph Asikpo, the state coordinator of the agency, made this known at a media briefing in Jalingo on Friday.
According to him, the drugs are evacuated in 20 sacks and seven cartons from some hidden stores in the area.
He said that the Tramadol and Sildenafil combination was an unregistered drug used by people in the area to enhance sexual performance.
“The problems associated with Tramadol alone outweigh its benefits because its indiscriminate use causes serious bodily harm. This is because the drug has addictive tendency and it is responsible for several violent behaviour we see on the streets today,” Asikpo said.
The coordinator said that other illegal drugs seized included banned Analgin and Gentamycin injections, fake Swidar and Ampiclox tablets, fake Mixagrip, different brands of Nimesulide, among others.
He said that the agency had imposed administrative charges on Amatex, Emmy CY and Aleke patent medicine stores in the area for being in possession of the illegal drugs.
Asikpo said that the patent medicine stores must pay the charges, assuring that the illegal drugs would be destroyed soon.
The coordinator vowed to sanction any trader found selling any banned consumable in the state.
“We are continuously carrying out mop up of commonly used but banned products such as Crusader, Mekako, Montclaire and Amirah soaps and other mercury containing products. These products are causative agents for skin cancer and kidney problem,” he said.
He advised the general public to always check the expiration dates and NAFDAC registration number of products before consumption.
Asikpo appealed to consumers to always report anyone found selling expired drugs or beverages to the agency for quick action.
Photo Credit: Olaleye Aluko/PUNCH