Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Lagos State Police Command wednesday uncovered an illegal distillery where fake malt drinks, alcoholic stout drinks and ethanol are produced in large quantities at Igba Afa, Igbogbo Bayeku area of Ikorodu.

At the illegal factory were barrels of malt, ethanol and stout produced in unhygienic conditions and bottled as the real deal to be sold to unsuspecting consumers.

Although five suspects have been arrested, the police said they are on the look out for other members of the syndicate.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, who stormed the factory with armed personnel, attributed the success of the raid to effective community policing.

He said, This is another success story and an indication that community policing community partnership is working.

“This happened as a result of confidence that the local government and residents of the area have in the police.

“Right here we have an illegal distillery where stout, malt, etanol are being produced in very nuhygienic conditions. Already, the suspects behind this have been arrested.

” The important lesson here is that we must be vigilant. Recently, you will recall that during my last press briefing I paraded an elderly man who was selling all sorts of fake drinks in Mushin.

” I have called on Lagosians to be vigilant and to pass any information promptly to their local police to ensure we identify places like this and destroy them.

“Most peopel that drink these things that are produced in unhygienic conditions are not healthy because they are not NAFDAC certified.

“Also those producing it are not qualified to do so. Thus, they are generally giving out poison for Lagosians to drink.

“What is most worrisome is that they are bottling and canning it as if they are produced by reputable companies that deal on the product. I call for additional vigilance.

“We are going to take samples of each of the various fake drinks being concocted here. We are going to give samples to NAFDAC and DNA lab at Lagos Island for analysis.

“Also, this place as I speak to you is sealed, there will be no further activities here.

“Note that the suspects will be investigated further because we discovered from preliminary investigation that these brews are not being bottled here.

“Trucks come in here and load and take the brews to another location where they are canned and bottled. We want to extend our investigation and discover those areas so that we ensure that in the entire process we round them all up.

“We have five suspects being interrogated. Meanwhile, note that community policing and community partnership is based on trust and confidence.

“People won’t talk until they believe you take the share fact. We are getting information from every nooks and crannies of the state.”

Imohimi called all Lagosians to be vigilant, adding that this falls on his code of ‘know your neighbour and the activity going going on in your neighbourhood.