A 33-year-old Chinese man named Zhao Chum was on Thursday, July 21, arrested by officials of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for allegedly smuggling into Nigeria, unregistered and controlled chemicals used for manufacturing explosives.
Zhao Chum, the owner of a furniture company in Ogun state, was arrested alongside his Nigerian accomplice, a man named Christian Ohia.
Confirming the arrest, the Director-General, DG, NAFDAC, Yetunde Oni, said in a statement that:
“NAFDAC impounded 880 bags x 25kg of Urea Formaldehyde Resin – a chemical compound for manufacturing explosives, which was imported by the Chinese man, Zhao Chum.
“The substance is now in NAFDAC’s warehouse. The director of the company, Zhao Chum, and his clearing agent, Christian Ohia, have been arrested.”
The acting DG added:
“The Ports Inspection Directorate of the agency got a tip-off that the substance, identified as Urea Formaldehyde Resin powder, was smuggled in through the Lagos sea port in two containers.
The containers were transported to Chum’s company in Omu Ijebu area of Ogun, from where operatives of the agency impounded and brought them to the agency’s office in Oshodi, Lagos state.
They are assisting NAFDAC to unravel the supply chain. Investigation is ongoing into the matter.”
However, Chum reportedly denied being a smuggler, explaining that the substance was glue which he uses for his furniture works. As written in his statement to the police Zhao Chum said:
“This glue is from China. Everyone can buy it. I am not an importer. I gave this job to an agent. The agent did not tell me anything.
“NAFDAC people came to look for the agent. After arresting him, they arrested me too. You can come to my factory and see what I use the substances for. It is to hold furniture together”.