The Lagos State Police Command has uncovered a factory where fake wine and fruit juice are produced in the Oke Odo area of Lagos. A 48-year-old man, Ughanze, the owner of the factory, has been arrested.
Assorted wine, fruit juice and empty bottles were recovered from the uncompleted one-storey building, which doubled as the factory and the owner’s residence. Apart from the finished products, several chemicals and reagents used in manufacturing the products were also recovered by undercover operatives.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who led some journalists to the illegal brewing site, said all samples of products recovered from the factory would be sent to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for laboratory analysis.
He said: “This matter is an interesting case because it has to do with the health of Lagosians. Based on intelligence information that some fake assorted wines and gins were being brewed in an uncompleted building, I detailed my men to go after the perpetrators.
“On December 18, 2018, at about 2pm, the command received credible information that there existed a fake wine brewery in an uncompleted one-storey building in Aboru area of Oke Odo, Lagos, where assorted wine and alcoholic beverages were being produced. Based on the information, I directed the Area Commander, Area P, Alagbado Area Command, to mobilize to the scene, search and seal off the factory.
“When the team arrived the scene, they executed a search warrant, which enabled them to search and recover the following items: 4,000 bottles of already produced, packed and labelled adulterated wine of different brands; 1,000 empty bottles; drums of different sizes; chemicals and reagents used as raw materials, as well as other tools used in the production of fake wine/ beverages.
“During interrogation, the owner of the factory, Ughanze, a native of Obosi in Anambra State, confessed that he was the owner of the building where the illicit drinks were produced.”
Edgal further revealed that the suspect, a secondary school dropout, has neither the requisite qualification nor license to embark on such a business. He noted that the factory serves as both production base and residence for the suspect, his wife and four children.