The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Nimba Office, has carried out an auction of over 450 gallons of gasoline seized from the smugglers in Ganta recently.
According to the Commerce Inspector in Nimba, Roosevelt Gbormie, the goods were seized at the border on the 12th July 2014 aboard a Guinean truck in which the consignment was concealed under other goods destined for Guinea.
“On the same day we arrested the petroleum product,” said Inspector Gbormie, “we also arrested 15 bags of rice aboard another truck from the same concernee, in person of Suah Bility.”
On July 13, said Inspector Gbormie, Amadou Kromah was arrested with 93 gallons of gas, while A.B. Saysay was arrested with 79 gallons of gas. Also arrested was Seakou Jabateh, with 5 bags 25kg rice, along Lasso Domoyah who was arrested with 9 25kg bags rice.
The total of the petroleum products arrested is about eight drums, plus 15 gallons which are over 450 gallons in all.
Inspector Gbormie said his Ministry was auctioning the rice at L$700 per bag from the actual price which is L$ 1100 in Ganta; while the gasoline was auctioned at L$300 per gallon from the actual price which is L$ 420.
“Upon the auctioning of these goods, the money will be deposited at the government revenue to serve as a deterrent and the original flag receipt will be given to the owners,” he added.
The Commerce Inspector also informed the public that rice, cement and gasoline are banned goods that are not supposed to leave the country.
The prices of a 25kg bag of rice and gasoline had in recent times escalated in Ganta and surrounding towns and villages in Nimba. Citizens believed this was due to weakness of the security assigned at the various border points, especially in Ganta.
Observers were surprised to see some of the seized gasoline concealed in battery cartoons, under the guise of being batteries.
“Some of the smuggling gasoline was concealed in battery cartoons so we can take them to be battery cartoons, but as a security, we managed to discover it at once,” Sam Kouh, Commerce Inspector at the Ganta Border pointed out.
Last year the Ministry of Commerce in Nimba auctioned over 2000 bags of 25kg rice that were seized from smugglers at various locations in Nimba, but the heaviest auction was at the Ganta Border where over 1300 bags were auctioned the same day.
The Ganta Border is manned by sections of the Joint Security representing, some of the line ministries, including the Justice Ministry and its Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance and its Customs Service, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).