The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Thursday said it has arrested a suspected leader of a drug cloning syndicate in Lagos.
Mr Garba Macdonald, NAFDAC Director of Enforcement, told newsmen in Lagos that the suspect was arrested in his house at Orile-Iganmu with various fake drugs worth over N20 million.
Macdonald said that the syndicate specialised “in cloning several fast moving drug products, including locally manufactured anti-malaria and pain relieving medicines”.
He said that the syndicate had perfected its cloning act in China and, thereafter, imported the cloned drugs into the country.
Macdonald said that the suspect had been placed under NAFDAC's watch list of fake drugs importers for about two years.
He said the agency had begun investigations to unravel his China-based partners.
The NAFDAC official said that the agency was determined to take advantage of its collaboration with the Chinese Government in the fight against fake drugs.
Macdonald said that every offender would be punished according to his/her country's drug counterfeiting laws.
He said that arrest of the suspect was “a major breakthrough in the fight to stem the activities of the syndicate''.
According to him, through intelligence gathering, it was established that the suspect used his house as a warehouse where the cloned drugs were stored.
“Some of the drugs discovered in his possession at the time of arrest were Coartem tablets, Amalar tablets, some unlabeled tablets, Maloxine tablets, Ibuprofen tablets, packaging materials, leaflets and hand sealing machines.”
He noted that the syndicate was currently assisting the agency in its investigation to get to the root of the matter.
Macdonald called on Nigerians to report any suspicious activity relating to NAFDAC regulated products around their communities for immediate action. (NAN)