In continuation of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s (MOCI) mandate to ensure that expired goods are removed from the Liberian market, damaged goods valued at US$20,000 from Mukesh Shopping Center, located in Vai Town, were yesterday destroyed.
Abraham Swaray, assistant director for standards at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said, “After the discovery of the unwholesome goods, we ensured that they were disposed of. All ministries and agencies responsible to test the goods have done their work and we are here to remove the goods today from the warehouse.”
Mr. Swaray said the inspection of the facilities of Mukesh Shopping Center is part of an ongoing exercise by the Ministry of Commerce and is expected to last for a month.
According to him, the inspection of Mukesh warehouse unearthed several cartons of noodles, plastics and stockpiles of alcoholic beverages, among other goods, soaked in a pool of foul-smelling fluid.
It was discovered by inspectors of the MoCI that there was a stench of liquid being discharged from a burst pipe conveying sewage to a septic tank being used by occupants of several apartments above the warehouse of the shopping center. The inspectors then ordered that the store be temporarily shut down pending the disposal of the contaminated items.
Sunny Sahijwani, general manager of Mukesh Shopping Center, told the Daily Observer that, “They have come to collect damaged but not expired goods. They have observed that some of our goods are not in good condition and today we are trying to dispose of them.”
Mr. Sahijwani attributed the situation to a lack of cooperation from other tenants, especially those upstairs, which has led the company to incur over US$20,000 in losses.
He indicated that it was a loss that the company never expected and which will take a longer time to recover from. He said since the contaminated goods were discovered at his business center, the company has lost cash but noted that it will take time to recover its many customers.
He said the Mukesh Shopping Center has been operating in Liberia since 1985 and has never been involved in the selling of expired goods.
“The situation has already been addressed and we will continue to cooperate with authorities to ensure that damaged goods are disposed of,” he said. “We are providing the truck that will dispose of the damaged goods.”