By Miriam Humbe
Team members of the newly launched Surveillance Investigation and Monitoring (SIM) Unit of the Standards Organisation’s of Nigeria’s (SON), have swooped on an electric cable cloning and faking syndicate in the Alaba International Market in Lagos
Items worth millions of naira were immediately evacuated along with the crude counterfeiting machines used by the syndicate to the SON warehouse Ogba, while the suspects were handed over to the Force CIID Alagbon Lagos, for interrogation.
The SIM team, after discreet surveillance with the aid of security operatives, arrested three suspects, Okwudili Ezenwa, Uche Rufus and Nonso Udechukwu who were caught in the act of counterfeiting electric cables and appliances.
According to a statement signed by CPRO Mariam Samson, Head of the SIM Unit, Mr. Isa Suleiman said initial revelations indicate that the suspects are part of a ring of counterfeiters and fakers of popular brands of electrical appliances such as cables, electric cut-outs, electric switches and other items classified as life endangering within the popular Alaba International market.
He 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.
The Head, SON SIM Unit revealed that 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.
Mr. Suleiman warned all importers and manufacturers of substandard products in the country to desist forthwith, as SON is poised to apprehend and prosecute them 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, SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma had recently inaugurated a 16-man Surveillance, Investigation and Monitoring (SIM) Unit in Lagos.
The highly mobile, crack team according to him, was to augment SON’s enforcement activities around the country with the mandate amongst others to carry out surveillance, monitoring and investigation of substandard products and their manufacturers or importers with the support of the security agencies and the Nigerian Custom’s Service so as to drastically reduce the high incidence of these products in the country.