NAFDAC Crackdown on N50m Worth of Counterfeit Drug Cartel in Lagos

By Helen Okechukwu, JKNMedia Reporter

TO STEM the tide of illicit drug sales, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has struck a significant blow against a counterfeit drug cartel in Lagos State.

In the clampdown, the agency seized a staggering N50million worth of contraband in a targeted raid on street hawkers operating in the bustling Apapa area.

The operation, which unfolded in the heart of Lagos, was part of NAFDAC’s relentless efforts to clamp down on the pervasive underground market for illegal pharmaceuticals.

Led by the agency’s Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, the crackdown saw a swift and coordinated effort to dismantle the illicit drug trade thriving on the streets.

According to a piece of information shared on its X handle, the NAFDAC raid yielded a substantial haul of the counterfeit drugs including aphrodisiacs, narcotic substances like tramadol, antibiotics and various other over-the-counter medications.

These seizures represent a major victory in the ongoing battle against the circulation of dangerous and potentially life-threatening substances.

In a statement released to the press, NAFDAC’s spokesperson, Mr. Samuel Okon, disclosed that the operation resulted in the apprehension of several unauthorized merchants involved in the illegal sale of pharmaceuticals.

“This operation sends a clear message that NAFDAC remains committed to safeguarding public health by dismantling criminal networks engaged in the production and distribution of counterfeit drugs, Okon stated.

The raid comes on the heels of a worrying trend in Nigeria, where the prevalence of counterfeit pharmaceuticals poses a significant threat to human lives.

Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General, NAFDAC, has previously highlighted the dangers associated with drug counterfeiting, emphasizing that these substances often contain harmful ingredients and fail to meet quality standards.

“Drug counterfeiting stands as a barricade to healthcare delivery in Nigeria,” Professor Adeyeye remarked in a July 2023 report, adding that “Consumption of these illicit drugs can lead to various health complications for individuals, as many are expired, counterfeit or substandard.”

Okon said the successful operation underscores NAFDAC’s commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of Nigerians and reinforces the agency’s determination to rid the country of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, adding that as investigations continue, authorities remain vigilant in their efforts to root out illegal drug trafficking networks and ensure the safety and integrity of Nigeria’s healthcare system.

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