Operatives of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad (RRS) have arrested two men who specialize in the selling of untreated jar water and sachet water to unsuspecting organisations and members of the public.
The operatives of the RRS, acted on a tip-off which led to the arrest of the suspects, Chukwu ma Uzor, (48) and Ofonime Ikpe (44) and three other accomplices at 3, Adesola Street, Ago-Palace Way, Okota in Lagos on Thursday, October 22, 2015.
Mr. Sunday Nnaduaga, a water producer who narrated his ordeals to the RRS said, one of the suspects, Uzor Chukwuma, had once worked for him as a marketer but absconded after sometime.
“I just noticed that he just stopped coming to office and efforts to reach him via his mobile phones proved abortive as all his lines were switched off. Sometimes ago, a friend of mine hinted me that he saw him distributing dispensable water to our customers mostly banks and other big companies in Lagos. Since that day I started to keep tab on him until I caught him red-handed selling water with several registered names which are produced in an unkempt environment. Afterwards, I hinted RRS team on patrol which led to the arrest of the two suspects”, he narrated. He added that this criminal act has greatly affected his water business because customers have ceased patronizing him.
The prime suspects, Chukwuma, who hailed from Mbaise Local Government in Imo State, said “I decided to use the brand name because it has a readymade market. We had many customers particularly new generation banks that patronize us.
Before now, I had worked as a marketer for him but I was poorly paid despite all the huge sales I made for him. And, the only way to make my own sales was to use his brand name which is acceptable to many people. “’ he stated.
His accomplice, Ofonime Ikpe, who also adopted another brand of table water, said that he only accommodated him to produce the water in his factory.
“I made a big mistake for allowing him to be producing the water in my factory. I regret aiding and abetting him in committing this heinous crime. He paid me just a token from profit he made from the sales”, he confessed.
The Commander of RRS, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, Olatunji Disu revealed that the suspects were not only adopting popular brands, they were also pouring untreated water in jars and sachets in an unwholesome manner as well as selling them to various companies such as banks and unsuspecting members of the public.
The Commander advised members of the public to be wary of buying of unhygienic water particularly as the festive period approaches. Hundreds of assorted brands of empty dispensable jars were among the items recovered from them.
The two suspects and other coworkers have been transferred to the State Investigation and Intelligent Bureau in Ikeja.
– Amah Baldwin