Lagos Police Burst Fake Drinks Factory, Arrest Two Suspects

The Lagos State Police have arrested two individuals, Imo Lawrence and Magnus Nwonka, in connection with the production of counterfeit drinks, revealing the existence of a hidden "multi-room factory."

In Lagos, southwest Nigeria, the police apprehended two individuals found in possession of counterfeit drinks.

While specific details of the arrest are yet to be fully disclosed, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, the Command’s spokesperson, revealed the arrest via his social media platform.

The suspects, identified as Imo Lawrence (35 years old) and Magnus Nwonka (42 years old), were apprehended by officers from the Ojo Division of the command on Wednesday.

Fake products, including fake beverages, pose a severe threat to public safety. These products often circumvent regulatory standards and may contain harmful substances that can have detrimental effects on consumers’ health. The vigilance displayed by the Lagos State Police in uncovering and addressing such illicit operations is crucial for safeguarding the well-being of the community.

The commendable efforts of the Ojo Division of the Lagos State Police in swiftly responding to and apprehending the suspects demonstrate the importance of proactive law enforcement in curbing illegal activities. The division’s dedication to maintaining the safety and integrity of the community serves as a reassuring example of the police force’s commitment to public welfare.

The incident underscores the rising threat of counterfeit goods in the market, particularly in densely populated urban areas like Lagos. Counterfeit products not only undermine the economy by eroding trust in legitimate businesses but also pose a significant challenge to public health and safety. The police action signals a resolute stance against those seeking to profit at the expense of unsuspecting consumers.

To effectively combat the proliferation of counterfeit goods, collaboration between law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies is paramount. The police’s role in apprehending the suspects is just one part of a broader effort that should involve cooperation with agencies responsible for setting and enforcing product standards. By fostering synergy between these entities, authorities can create a more robust defense against illicit operations.

The police spokesperson said in the course of the investigation, the suspects led detectives to their “inconspicuous, multi-room ‘factory’, adding that “investigation is ongoing.”

READ ALSO: NAFDAC’s Swift Action, Exposing the Manufacturing of Fake Drinks in Aba

Azeere reported on Monday, December 18, that no fewer than 240 shops on Cemetery Road Market, Aba, in Abia State, have been shut down over fake and counterfeit drugs by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.

The drugs and other products confiscated were worth more than N700 million, according to the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye.

Adeyeye said the raid was carried out within the first two weeks of December 2023 and that many such raids had been going on in the country.

She decried the increase in the number of counterfeiters in the country. She charged citizens to be more careful of what they buy and consume, as most of these counterfeit products, including beverages and consumables, had adverse and long-term health implications for those who consumed them.

“We have carried out raids in different parts of the country, and we have seized goods worth millions of naira. The latest raid is the one that happened at Cemetery Road Market in Aba.

“NAFDAC intercepted counterfeiters engaged in the production of a variety of beverages. They include alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines, as well as consumables.

“This was achieved due to several weeks of intelligence gathering. And we were able to carry out a sting operation and burst the criminal activities in the market that had been going on for a long time. They were now like a cartel.

“Some of the activities of the nefarious counterfeiters included the production of all kinds of wines from a wide variety of brands.They range from Schnapps, Dry Gin, Hennessy, Four Cousins, Chelsea, to London Dry Gin and Gordons.

“They also counterfeited non-alcoholic beverages like Eva wine and Coca-Cola products, among others.

“The criminals re-validated expired products. And all of these operations were carried out in a less-than-conducive environment with water that was not pure.

“During the raid, about 240 shops were closed down, and 1,500 cartons of the counterfeited products were destroyed.

“Three hundred cartons were seized, and 10 people were arrested at the scene of the crime and will be charged in court. The goods destroyed and seized from this illegal operation were valued at about N700 million,” she said.


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