By Hassan Bruz
Sierra Leone — Following the discovery of a huge consignment of expired Brewer Beer, the management of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has ordered the leadership of the Gbalamuya Border Post in the Kambia District to destroy the consignment of 3000 cartons, according to the Sierra Leone News Agency.
The decision was endorsed by the respective stakeholders at the Gbalamuya Border Post including Port Health, Sierra Leone Standard Bureau, the Sierra Leone Police and Military and destroyed in the full view of the public.
This was confirmed by the Supervisor of the National Revenue Authority at the Gbalamuya Border Post, Mr. Ishmail Kamara. The consignment which totalled 3,291 cartons of 8% Brewer Strongest and 5 % (percent) of Premium Beer was imported from Poland by Liyouz Business Corporation, a private company in Freetown. The 1,542 cantons of the above figure are the 8 percent Brewer Beer while the remaining crates are 5 percent Premium Beer. It arrived in the country on board a 12-tyre Trailer with registration number RC 5915-N on 12th.January 2016 through the Republic of Guinea.
According to the NRA Supervisor, the decision to have the consignment of Beer destroyed was basically to prevent it from reaching the market and its eventual consumption in the country. He said the 8 percent Strongest Brewer Beer expired the very day it arrived in the country and that the other beer expired 3 days later.
While explaining the element of money that changed hands in the form of a bribe, he said amount money was what was supposed to have been paid by the importer to the NRA If the products were up to date, which he said was in the neighbourhood of ninety-six million Leones (Le96 million).
He said the consignment was not arrested as alleged because Debora –the lady who accompanied the product, actually followed the procedure and personally tendered the relevant documents with the determination to pay the customs duty. He said Debora was even surprised when informed during the physical examination process that the consignment had expired and no longer fit for human consumption.
On the issue of apparent delay in destroying the consignment, Mr. Ishmail Kamara said the matter was initially referred to his Head Office in Freetown for advise and had to wait until around 26/27 January when an instruction was issued to him to either transport the products to Freetown at the expense of the Importer or ensure it is destroyed at Gbalamuya.
He said a total of 3 separate dates have since been set between 1ST and 10 February 2016 for the burning of this consignment. He said they had to wait for this long because he wanted the consignment to be destroyed with other products earlier intercepted. He however disclosed that all the sister agencies have now been intimated and will soon come out with a date for the destruction of these products.