The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), says its Surveillance Investigation and Monitoring (SIM) team has arrested an electric cable cloning and faking syndicate at the Alaba International Market, Lagos.
Mrs Mariam Samson, the Chief Protocol Relations Officer of SON, said this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Samson said after discreet surveillance, the team aided by security operatives swooped on the syndicate and effected the arrest of Okwudili Ezenwa, Uche Rufus and Nonso Udechukwu.
She said the three suspects were caught in the act of counterfeiting electric cables and appliances.
Samson said Items worth millions of naira were evacuated along with the crude counterfeiting machines used by the syndicate to the SON warehouse in Ogba, while the suspects had been handed over to the Force CID Alagbon, Lagos, for interrogation.
She said revelations by the head of the team, Mr Isa Suleiman, indicated that the suspects were part of a gang of counterfeiters of popular brands of electrical appliances such as cables, electric cut-outs, electric switches and other items classified as life endangering.
According to her, Suleiman explained that with the aid of rudimentary equipment, the suspects and their collaborators coil substandard electric cables into rolls and label them with popular brand names for sale to unsuspecting buyers.
“Other store and storage facilities suspected to be stocked with fake and substandard electrical products within the vicinity were also identified and sealed up at the market in line with the provisions of the SON Act of No. 14 of 2015.
“While the store owners have been invited through the cooperation of the market leaders to SON Operational Headquarters to aid investigation with relevant documents,” she quoted Suleiman.
Samson said Suleiman used the opportunity to warn all importers and manufacturers of substandard products in the country to desist from the act forthwith.
The statement quoted Suleiman as saying ”SON is poised to apprehending and prosecuting such manufacturers and their collaborators to protect Nigerians from the dangers to lives and properties as well as the huge economic losses occasioned by their activities.
It will be recalled that the Director-General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma, in a bid to beef up the organisation’s capacity to enforce the war against substandard products recently inaugurated a 16-man SIM Unit in Lagos.
Aboloma had said the team was to augment SON’s enforcement activities to carry out surveillance, monitoring and investigation of substandard products and their manufacturers or importers.
He said the assignment would be done with the support of the security agencies and the Nigerian Custom’s Service so as to drastically reduce the high incidence of fake products in the country.