The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Gombe Zonal Office, has arrested 26 suspects for allegedly adulterating palm oil, and handed them over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Mr Michael Wetkas, the Head of Operations in the zone, said while handing over the suspects to NAFDAC in Gombe on Friday, that the suspects were apprehended at Gombe Main Market.
Wetkas said the arrest was based on surveillance report, which according to him, prompted the commission to carry out an investigation in that regard.
He said that 32 shops were closed down while the suspects and the substance seized were being handed over to NAFDAC for further investigation in line with its mandate.
While urging the members of the public to always be at alert and report all fraudulent acts to concerned authorities, Wetkas warned those in the act to desist from it.
According to him, the EFCC will carry out more surveillance to check all fraudulent activities in the zone.
He said: “I am handing over 26 suspects for the alleged offence with the 32 shops sealed to NAFDAC who is in charge of food safety for further action.”
Receiving the suspects, Mr Laras Jatau, NAFDAC’s Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer, Gombe State Office, thanked the EFCC, adding that the agency’s collaboration with other security agencies had been yielding positive results.
Jatau expressed shock over the number of arrested suspects, adding “not long ago, we carried out sensitisation in the same market against adulterated palm oil, yet see what has happened.
“Those who go to the market to innocently purchase food to nourish their bodies will end up getting hazardous substance; this is a crime against humanity,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a team of EFCC and NAFDAC officials led journalists to Gombe Main Market where the suspects were caught.
Also, sellers and buyers were also sensitised by the EFCC on the need to report illegal activities that posed health risk to Nigerians to relevant authorities.