Four Arrested in Abuja, Nigeria for Illicit Sale of Bed Nets

Investigation Significant Activities

On February 13, 2018, an OIG investigation led authorities in Nigeria to arrest four individuals for illegally selling U.S. Government-funded bed nets provided to protect people from malaria-carrying mosquitos. The arrests came after weeks of joint investigative work by the OIG and the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to secure evidence of theft, diversion, and resale of antimalarial commodities.

The OIG opened its investigation based on reports from a U.S. Government contractor that USAID-funded commodities, typically made available at no cost, were being unlawfully sold in a public marketplace in Abuja. This week’s law enforcement action involved over 30 local police officers and NAFDAC officials who, with OIG logistical support, apprehended individuals in three marketplaces. The investigation is ongoing.

The U.S. Government fights malaria through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), which focuses on 24 countries in Africa, including Nigeria. Malaria is endemic in Nigeria and accounts for 60 percent of outpatient visits and 30 percent of hospitalizations. PMI funding in the country has exceeded $495 million since Fiscal Year 2010 and amounted to $75 million in Fiscal Year 2017 alone. Additional U.S. funding supports malaria programs under the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.