The Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON has impounded a truck loaded with 560 bags of contraband sugar in Kebbi.
The SON Coordinator in Kebbi, Jibril Muhammad disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birinin Kebbi on Monday.
“We impounded a truck loaded with 560 bags of contraband sugar smuggled from Brazil through Kebbi State borders with Benin and Niger Republic.
“The seized products, 50kg each, had branded names of White Crystal Sugar Nardini Agro industrial and LTDA Industrial Brazillaira, with N15,000 Birnin-Kebbi market price each per bag, all worth N9.15 million,” he said.
Mr. Muhammed said half bag of the products were also seized by the SON during ‘shops to shops’ searching at the Birnin-Kebbi central market, making it a total 610 and half bags of smuggled sugar seized within three days of its operations in the state.
It was learnt that the illegal importation of the products violated SON Act 2015, Part VII, number 26(1-2), which recommends not less than three years imprisonment and fine of N2 million or both.
He said the products lack vitamin A, which flouts the prescription of the Federal Government that all food items must contain.
“We have been directed by the Director-General of SON to impound any products imported to the country without permission of the agency,” he said.
“These items were smuggled into the country. We mounted our intelligence, markets surveillance among other techniques to track down the truck.
“So far, the owner of the truck has been arrested; he is already with the police. Investigation is still ongoing,” he said.
Mr. Muhammed explained that owners of shops where bags of imported sugar were found have signed documents with the agency, saying “whenever we need them, they would make themselves available.”
He added that the mechanism would enable consumers to easily identify standard products in the market through the SON labels, adding that people should be conscious of commodities without SON approval, expire date and labels.