The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has sealed confectioneries and multinational food outlet, Chocolate Royale, for violating ethical and hygiene standards.
NAFDAC’s Public Relations Officer, Enforcement Operations, Anslem Okonkwo, said in a statement on Friday that the action was taken based on an intelligence report which indicted the company of illegal importation, illegal storage and use of expired ingredients and food products in preparing food and confectioneries served to its customers.
The agency also said it found out that illegal cold rooms were being operated and maintained at the company’s managing director’s residence. It added that large quantities of various expired and spoilt food ingredients worth millions of naira were uncovered.
Okonkwo said as a result of its findings, the agency sealed the company’s facilities at Plot 267A Etim Inyang Crescent and the managing director’s residence on No 1, Karimu Kotun Street, both in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The agency added that items worth over N1bn had been evacuated from both premises after a nine-hour operations.
Some top officials of the company were also arrested for interrogation for wilfully obstructing the NAFDAC operatives in the course of performing their duties during the operation.
Commenting on the development, the Director, Investigation and Enforcement of NAFDAC, Mr. Kingsley Ejiofor, said, “The suspects will be interrogated, while the products will be sampled and taken to the laboratory for analysis where the labels and contents will be properly analysed. And at the end of the day when the results are out, that will determine the next line of action.”
NAFDAC’s Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, frowned at the development and assured Nigerians that the matter would be thoroughly investigated to ascertain the level of violations to aid prosecution. He added that the facilities would remain sealed until all the issues are fully investigated and resolved.
Chocolate Royale is a subsidiary of AIM Group, owned by a Lebanese business mogul and billionaire, Mr. Amin Moussalli.