By Chioma Obinna
NATIONAL Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, yesterday impoundedÂ 15 large consignments ofÂ fake pharmaceutical products at the Muritala Mohammed Airport, Lagos valued at N18 million.
To this end, the Agency has warned that henceforth, airlines would be held responsible for consignments which contain NAFDAC regulated products for which they could not account for the owners.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, while briefing newsmen in Lagos said such seizures had become persistent as 15 trailers of fake NAFDAC regulated products worth about N450 million were impounded recently.
According to Orhii, â€œthe consignment, which comprises fake Ampiclox, fungral ketoconazole, Artesunat, Lincocin capsules, Postinor 2 and printed package of postinor were being smuggled out of the tarmac of MMIA, Port Complex by yet to be identified persons when NAFDAC officials intercepted them.
â€œThrough surveillance, NAFDAC officers on duty detected the consignment where it was discharged and hidden. The officer immediately alerted their superior officers and the consignment was intercepted, seized and evacuated to NAFDAC warehouse for safe keeping.â€
He said during investigation, it was found that the consignment originated from Hong Kong and was air lifted to Nigeria by Qatar Airline but contained products labelled as manufactured in India and hinted that the products were tested with Truscan portable equipment that can detect fake drugs on the spot and the drugs were found to be fake.
According to him, â€œin the last two weeks, we have intercepted and seized over 15 trailers worth about N450 million of smuggled regulated products in addition to the past seizures.
â€œThis is because we have mounted surveillance on identified routes used by these criminals and we have also beefed up our intelligence network.â€
The Director General advised all importers of NAFDAC regulated products to come forward and register their products to ensure that they are of good quality and safe for human consumption.