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Ashanti Region business owners clap back at taskforce for confiscating ‘smuggled’ cooking oil

The Ashanti Business Owners Association is discontent with a supposed anti-smuggling operation conducted by a joint task force comprising the National Security, Food and Drugs Authority, Tree Crops Development Authority, and Customs.

The task force raided the Central Business District of Kumasi to seize vegetable cooking oil brands believed to be unlicensed and smuggled into the country.

Affected business owners are calling for stringent surveillance at the ports and harbors.

During the operation, the task force combed retail shops in the Central Business District of Kumasi for unlicensed and smuggled vegetable cooking oil products.

Armed men moved from one retail shop to another and seized products worth millions of Ghana cedis, including Global, Dyanas, Special, and Roch vegetable cooking oils.

At least four brands were confiscated by the task force, which claimed to be executing the joint mandate of the Food and Drugs Authority, Customs Division, Tree Crops Development Authority, and the National Security.

Dr. Paul Amaning is the coordinator of the task force.

“When we visited market, we realized there is a clone of one of the cooking oil brands known as Roch. It is originally produced in Malaysia. But the clone is from Indonesia which is not licensed. Oils are used for various products. So we are concerned about what the type of oil this is,” he said.

But the Ashanti Business Owners Association is distraught and unhappy with the development.

A member of the group, Osei Akoto, says at least twenty gallons of the products were seized at his shop.

“I contacted the person I imported the goods from to send me his import duties receipt which he did. But the taskforce went head to cease the oils. This is what baffles me,” he said.

The group says their confirmation from the Regional Coordinating Council could not ascertain the identity of the taskforce.

Charles Kusi Appiah-Kubi is the Executive Secretary of the Association.

“The feedback we had from the minister suggests that he has no aware of such people having such operations in the market space. These men were angered because the regional minister intervened the situation. The government must put in measures at the ports and harbours,” he said.

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