The Lagos State Police command has arrested the owner of a local distillery company at Igba Afa, in the Igbogbo Bayeku area of Ikorodu, allegedly for producing fake malt and alcoholic drinks.
The distiller, Otiko Onoriode, was arrested along with his younger brother, Otiko Ogheneovo; Esiekpe Benson, Emmanuel Diakpomerere and Mrs Diakpomerere.
Onoriode, according to the police, has confessed that he had been operating the fake brewery illegally for over five years.
He said: “It was after my father relocated to the village that my brothers and I took over the production of the fake malt and alcoholic drinks. I was not even around when others were arrested. I was called that they had been arrested. It was when I went to the chemical which we normally keep for seven days, after which it would be ready. That is how we produce the local gin, the same process for fake malt and alcoholic drinks. It is the vapour that is coming out of the heat that produces the gin. Our forefather has been in the business for decades. We produced it in Ondo and Delta states and other parts of the country.
The Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said yesterday that the result of the analysis on the assorted drinks recovered at the brewery was being awaited, while an investigation to ascertain where the products were being bottled and canned was ongoing.
Egdal expressed the command’s keen interest in the case as it concerned human health, saying the police would not leave any stone unturned in taking the investigation and possible trial to a conclusion.
“At the site of the illegal distillery, the owners were producing stout, malt and assorted alcoholic drinks using ethanol in very unhygienic conditions. Most people who drink these things may become sick as a result of this. The drinks are not certified by NAFDAC and those producing it are not qualified to do so. I call for additional vigilance.
“We have taken samples of each of the various fake drinks being concocted here to the lab for forensic analysis. We will also give samples to NAFDAC and DNA lab. The place has been sealed and there will be no further activities there,” the police chief.