As Inspector General Davis raids supermarkets of expired frozen food, others
The Inspector General at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), Josephine W. A. Davis has busted a chain of expired goods discovered in the warehouses of the Abi Jaoudi Supermarket, one of the leading supermarkets in Monrovia.
The famous Abi Jaoudi Supermarket, located on Randall Street in Central Monrovia, is often used for shopping by privileged Liberians and foreigners, including expatriates, on a daily basis.
Following a tip-off, Inspector Davis said that a team was dispatched to investigate the truck, which had parked around the Free Port Monrovia but was later removed.
According to her, the investigation landed the Commerce Ministry team at the Abi Joaudi Supermarket, where a stockpile of frozen food, including sausage, chicken, meat, cheese, juices, among others, was raided.
“We arrived at Abi Jaoudi Supermarket first on Tuesday; we were confronted with strong resistance from the Management who refused to open the warehouses, particularly those containing frozen food. But shortly after a phone call was placed to senior police officers, the Management agreed to open the warehouses. We entered the warehouses and took some pictures, warning them not to tamper with anything,” she explained.
“We also inspected the truck that had parked around the Freeport area. We discovered 139 cartons of rotten fish, meat, sausage and others. We inspected three freezing rooms today and almost everything there is damaged,” Inspector Davis said.
She continued, “This place has a good cooling center where expired food can be frozen and taken to business people and others who are organizing wedding ceremonies, graduations, birthday parties, and others. When it is really frozen, many people will not be concerned in terms of reading to establish whether it is expired or not.”
She indicated that Abi Jaoudi Supermarket, due to its cooling ability, collects products from other supermarkets around Monrovia and its environs.
Inspector Davis said she was shocked, upon entering the huge cooling facility, to see damaged products that had expired since 2016. It was observed that local employees in the warehouse were seen repacking expired goods.
Inspector Davis said the Ministry has commenced taking the necessary steps to ensure that the expired products are disposed of, adding: “We assigned our inspectors to sort out the expired goods; while they are doing this, the next step will be taken by the Commerce Ministry team.”
According to a well-placed source, the sister of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Jenny Bernard, is connected to the Abi Jaoudi Supermarket, which made it virtually impossible for authorities at Commerce Ministry to inspect the warehouses during the regime of Johnson Sirleaf.
“Due to the connection of former President Sirleaf’s sister, inspectors from Commerce Ministry were stopped from during their regular inspection at Abi Jaoudi Supermarket. When you come to do inspection, they would resist and start making phone calls, after which somebody from the top will call you and you wouldn’t continue with the inspection,” a source said.