The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has disclosed the arrest of over 200 cartons of Nigerian beer, Star Radler, in the country for illegal importation and the lack of branded trademark, describing it as criminal act. The beer is a registered trademark of Nigeria Business, 2017.
Mitchell Jones, Director for Public Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, told the Daily Observer on Tuesday that, “Every beer or imported goods in Liberia must carry a branded trademark or name on the carton, bag or plastic, which is not implied in the case of the Nigerian imported beer.”
He stressed that every item imported in Liberia carries a trade name written on the carton, referencing stout, Heineken among others.
According to Jones, the over 200 cartons of beer were seen in a place identified as Kamara’s warehouse in the Vai town community on the Bushrod Island last week.
However, Director Jones saidEmmanuel Anabodu Sunday Bobo, chief executive officer of Shalo and Emmanuel Incorporated, is the only person identified to have the right to distribute the Nigerian beer.
“We have established that the company in Nigeria has given Mr. Bobo the sole right to be the only distributor of this beer in the commerce of Liberia, but the ministry is currently investigating the both parties on how the unbranded beer landed in Liberia,” he said.
“The ministry can’t even confirm that the beer was tested by the National Standards Laboratory, which all imported goods, especially consumables, go through. We are currently investigating the testing of the beer and the copyright owner of it,” Director Jones told the Daily Observer.
He said the ministry will not relent in arresting any individual or business who will not follow the direct process to import in Liberia.