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Police, FDA arrest seven for misbranding rice

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
Some of the low quality rice in the warehouse
Some of the low quality rice in the warehouse

Two owners of a warehouse and their five employees have been arrested in a joint operation by the police and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for allegedly re-packaging low quality and low cost rice as popular and high cost brands and selling them to the unsuspecting public.

The names of the owners of the warehouse have been given by the police as Alhassan Fuseni, 40, and Sumaila Sudique, 50.

The names of their five employees have been withheld by the police.

Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Public Relations Officer of the FDA, Mr James Lartey, said some officers of the Accra Regional Police Command and the FDA received information that some traders were re-packaging rice of low cost brands and selling them as high cost brands at the Okaishie Market in Accra.

Re-packaging

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On December 12, 2018 a joint team from the Ghana Police Service and FDA went to the said venue and found the suspected traders, believed to be the owners of the warehouse, busily re-packaging the rice from unknown brands to some other bands which were popular and high priced in the market.

The names of the different brands of the high quality and high priced rice have been withheld by the police to protect consumers, while investigations continue.

However, the names of the low quality and low priced rice were given as Dio and Aroma rice.

Mr Lartey said during initial investigations, the joint team found about 2,000 bags of assorted low priced rice in the warehouse, which were going to be re-packaged as high quality brand for sale to the public.

The team, he said, arrested the seven persons for interrogation, while officials of the FDA took samples of the rice for testing and locked up the warehouse.

The illegal activity, according to the FDA, was known as misbranding of food, a practice which contravenes the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851 section 103).

Warning

The FDA warned all persons economically motivated to adulterate food to put a stop to it because it was an offence under the Public Health Act, 2012 ( Act 851).

"Offenders will face the full rigours of the law when apprehended," it stated.