By Miriam Humbe
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has apprehended a syndicate of three Egyptians specialized in the importation and distribution of substandard stainless cooking wares and electric blenders in Ilorin, Kwara State from hidden warehouses in Kwara, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory.
The operation followed series of complaints received from Consumers in Ilorin, Omu Aran, Offa, Songa and other parts of Kwara State about a Saleh brand of stainless cooking utensils that discolours within one to two weeks of use.
Investigation by SON officials revealed a discreet direct marketing and sales of the product by three Egyptians on behalf of Khafaga Import and Export Ltd. purportedly based in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State. The syndicate carries out their operation from a hidden warehouse at GRA, Ilorin to all parts of Kwara State.
According to the SON Kwara State Coordinator, Mrs. Esther Okon, several complainants stated that the suspects approach them directly in markets and shops and supply the products on request through telephone calls.
Mrs. Okon disclosed that quality verification carried out on the products revealed that they were imported without undergoing the SON import procedure, not registered with SON for traceability as required by law and were without country of origin.
While evacuating about 170 Cartons of the stainless cooking wares, SON officials also discovered another 30 cartons of Electric Blenders without import documents nor registration certificate for traceability which were also evacuated, she said.
The suspects according to her, have been handed over to law enforcement agencies for further interrogation.