A syndicate of four persons suspected to be specialists in producing unwholesome bread have been arrested by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Akwa Ibom.
According to Mr Collins Ogedegbe, the Head of NAFDAC in Akwa Ibom, who led the inspection team, the suspects were arrested at Ekpemiong Itak community in Ikono local Government of the state on Wednesday.
He said the team worked with the Police to expose the syndicate, adding that cases of production of unwholesome bread with pirated products were rampant in the state.
“Although the prime suspect, simply identified as Emeka is on the run, no fewer than four persons were arrested when the Police stormed the factory at Ekpemiong Itak community,” Ogedegbe said.
He said NAFDAC officials sealed the facility, carted away hundreds of fake bread, including fake wrappers and labels of other quality bread in the area.
Ogedegbe said the syndicate had been using wrappers and labels of other quality bread as cover to sell unwholesome bread.
He said that the agency would stop at nothing to ensure the enforcement of quality control regime on food products in the state.
He said that investigation had begun to ascertain whether the company’s operations complied with the regulatory demands of the agency.
“We are going to check for the company’s name in our documents whether it has been registered; whether it conformed to the regulatory framework or not.
“Necessary penalties would be slammed on the suspects, If found guilty at the end of investigation,” he said.
The Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Ikot Ekpene, Mr A.S. Bello, who confirmed the incident, said the suspects would be arraigned in court after investigations.
He appealed to the civil society to complement the services of the Police in the task of riding the society of fraudsters and criminal elements.
He said that Nigerians could help the Police in uncovering activities of criminals and suspicious characters in their neighbourhood by volunteering useful information.