Two Indian merchants have been arrested for allegedly smuggling unwholesome food items into the country and selling them to the public.
The two, Sumit Aswani and Yogendra Swani, the Warehouse Manager and the Secretary, respectively, of the suspected importing company, are currently assisting the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in investigations.
Some of the items found by some officials of EOCO at the warehouse in question are Mahi Thanks crunchy chocolates, Milk Salt crackers, Mahi Choco flow, Mahi Milk flow, Lykon Cream chocolates and Olivia Baby diapers.
Others are Vinnit Center-filled bubble gum, Dairy Cream candy, Creamy pop, Max orange and Max strawberry flavoured cream biscuits and Mahi mackerel.
Owner out of the country
The owner of Bright Alistar International Limited and Lucky K Limited, Mr Anup Rajwan, said to be behind the deals, had travelled to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, and was expected back in the country later yesterday.
Briefing the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EOCO, Mr K.K. Amoah, said the office received information that some Indians were operating from a warehouse within the Industrial Area in Accra where some imported goods, believed to be unwholesome, were supplied to wholesale and retail markets.
Some of the expired products at the warehouse at North Kaneshie in Accra Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Following the tip off, EOCO mounted surveillance that led it to a warehouse in the Industrial Area where a search revealed a variety of food items that had been stored.
Mr Amoah said initial investigations established that the food items were “unwholesome and had been cleared from the shelves from the country of origin”.
He said subsequently, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) was called in to help ascertain whether the food items had been duly registered and approved for consumption by Ghanaians.
The FDA, he said, after its initial investigations, said about ‘99 per cent’ of the items found had not been registered with the regulatory body.
That implied that the items had not been approved for importation into the country, he said, adding that that meant that the Indians had found a way of bringing them in illegally.
Mr Amoah said EOCO was also in contact with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to find out how the Indians succeeded in bringing the unwholesome items into the country.
He said the FDA was already investigating the matter and that further action would be taken after the required collaboration with the FDA and the GRA had been duly completed.