It was gathered that the gigantic factory has existed in the remote village for years, producing fake alcoholic beverages of local and foreign brands until agents of Diego Nigeria Limited, distributors of Hennnessey, Black Label, Baileys, etc, lodged a consumer’s complaint at NAFDAC office in Uyo which led to the discovery and the arrest of wife of the suspected kingpin, Mrs. Uyime Etokakpan.
Akwa Ibom State coordinator, Collins Ogedegbe, said that the NAFDAC team was able to penetrate the enclave due to the security back up of men of Nigerian Police Force. “Thousands of empty bottles of different brands of alcoholic beverages, labels, empty cartons of drinks, cocks and already finished products were found in the premises. The kingpin, Mr. Peter Etokakpan, was not found during the raid but his wife who is also a partner in the illegal business was arrested,” Ogedegbe stated.
The state coordinator said that NAFDAC could not enter the production room due to the heavy metal barricade and the scene created by the arrested woman that was almost leading to a riotous situation as young men and women started throwing stones at the NAFDAC team and Police adding that this is the first time a regulatory body has been able to enter the place.
He said that the case will be transferred to the Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC for further action.
The team also visited another alcoholic beverage factory; Sir Bigman Industries Limited, producers of Bigman products at Ikot Ekpene. The company was previously registered by NAFDAC but the agency said the company’s license expired.
NAFDAC claimed that the owner started faking other companies’ products and these were produced in a very unhygienic condition. The factory was subsequently sealed off and the fake products evacuated to NAFDAC office, Uyo.
Ogedegbe warned fakers to desist from their unwholesome practice and commence registration processes if they are interested in producing any product as they will never find a safe haven in Akwa Ibom State.