By Senator Iroegbu in AbujaÂ
The Standards Organisationâ€™sÂ Â of Nigeriaâ€™s (SON), Surveillance Investigation and Monitoring (SIM) Unit recently swooped on electric cable cloning and faking syndicate located at the AlabaÂ Â International Market, Lagos.
The Head, SIM Unit, Mr. Isa Suleiman said in a statement that the SIM team after discreet surveillance swooped on the syndicate with the aid of security operatives and effected the arrest of Okwudili Ezenwa, Uche Rufus and Nonso Udechukwu, threeÂ suspects allegedly caught in the act of counterfeiting electric cables and appliances.
Suleiman said 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 CID Alagbon Lagos, for interrogation.
According to him,Â initial revelations indicated 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.
He 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.
Suleiman also used the opportunity to warn all importers and manufacturers of substandard products in the country to desist forthwith, declaring that 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
He recalled that the Director General, SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma in a bid to beef up SONâ€™s capacity to enforce the war against substandard products recently inaugurated a 16-man SIM Unit in Lagos.
The highly mobile, crack team according to him, was to augment SONâ€™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 Nigeria Customâ€™s Service so as to drastically reduce the high incidence of these products in the country.