by Azeez Adeniyi
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested members of a syndicate involved in the forgery of NAFDAC numbers, certificates and documents of other government agencies.
Acting Director-General, NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni disclosed this on Monday in Lagos.
Oni who was represented by the Director of Enforcement, Kingsley Ejiofor said items rexocered from the suspects were certificate of registration bearing forged signature of the acting DG of NAFDAC; documents from government agencies, including the Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Federal Ministry of Justice and Federal High Court; as well as a payment verification form from a non-existent Barclays Bank.
She said NAFDAC recomplaints from three countries about some Nigerians who posed as NAFDAC employees to process registration documents for intending importers of regulated products.
She said it was discovered that three cases of the fraud were successfully carried out by an alleged international criminal group headed by Mr. Eze Okoronkwo, a resident of Aba, Abia State.
Oni said, “Okoronkwo had other Nigerian collaborators, Indian collaborators as well as nationals of Philippines, Tunisia, El-Salvador, the United States, Canada, Mauritania, Denmark, Mexico, Greece, Switzerland, Indonesia and Republic of South Korea, who all acted as brokers to the syndicate.
“The syndicate had collected the sum of $13,640, while there were plans to collect a further sum of $57,720.”
She added, “They contact the companies thereafter through their known websites. (E.g. European Union Distributors website). The victim is then gradually fleeced, while being presented with fake documents,” she added.