Beware of Toxic ‘Ponmo’; How NAFDAC Impounded 120 Tons Of Toxic ‘Ponmo’
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested seven people over the importation of toxic animal hides and skins popularly known as ‘Ponmo’ into the country.
The Spokesman of the agency, Sayo Akintola, made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday.
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Akintola quoted the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, as saying that 120 tons of the products were intercepted at six different locations in Lagos State.
According to the NAFDAC boss, the street value of the product currently intercepted is estimated to be around N25.330m only.
She stated that NAFDAC Investigation and Enforcement officials arrested the seven suspects after an intelligence gathering was done and the products were being warehoused and sold.
The NAFDAC boss added that the seven suspects are currently under investigation and will be prosecuted after the conclusion of the probe.
She, however, warned Nigerians, especially consumers of Ponmo against the activities of some unscrupulous businessmen and traders who are selling industrial animal hides as food articles.
The statement partly read, “This was in response to several complaints received from the public, pertaining to alleged sale and distribution of imported hides and skins meant for use in leather industries and which had already been processed with industrial chemicals.
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These hides and skins are then sold to unsuspecting public as consumable animal skin products, otherwise called Ponmo.
“Monitoring was also extended to some buyers who patronise the sellers and custodians of the warehouse,” she said, adding that preliminary investigation revealed that some of the hides and skins were “imported illegally and sometimes diverted to some merchants of death who re-process the hides and skins and further sell them as consumable Ponmo to the public”.