SON tightens noose on fake tyre importers, seizes N5bn consignment
Strong indications emerged that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, Nigeria’s apex quality bureau has tightened its noose on importers of fake and substandard tyres into the country, which led to the seizure of a consignment of such fake tyres imported from China.
Meanwhile, two Chinese nationals identified as Taolung Shen and Xu Jing Yau, have already been arrested by Police for allegedly running of fake a tyre business and are currently helping the Police to unravel the circumstances surrounding the importation of the consignment.
Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer of the SON, Osita Aboloma, who conducted news men round the warehouse where the offending products, said that importers rebranded the products to deceive unsuspecting members of the public.
“These kind of fake or substandard products are ‘dead on arrival’ and therefore allowing such consignments to be sold in the country would amount to surreptitiously taking away the lives of millions of Nigerians”
“Stuffing tyres through the long sea journey from China to Lagos has already compromised the quality and standards, not to talk of the crude way the tyres were separated on arrival in Nigeria, which was further worsened by the poor storage facility, which grossly lacks sufficient aeration in the warehouse”, the DG said..
It was however gathered that the Directorate of Compliance of the organisation intercepted one of the trucks of the importers on the highway and trailed it to the warehouse where the rest of the fake products were kept.
Aboloma, who was appointed to head the agency few months ago, imagined the level of danger such large quantity of fake tyres would have posed to unsuspecting Nigerians in particular and the national economy in general if they were allowed to enter into the system, especially given the already high incidences of road accidents caused by the use of such substandard tyres and other vehicle spare parts.
Investigations also show that lots of illegal activities go on the premises of the company where the warehouse is located, which include re-labelling, high level of stuffing of several tyres into one, tampering with expiry dates and staking the tyres in very adverse conditions, among several other bad trade practices.
The SON DG also said: “It is a clear case of investing millions in illicit business in order to take away the lives of millions of Nigerians. If we should allow something like this, it will amount to killing Nigerians inadvertently.”
Manufacturing dates on the tyres show that the stock post-date of the products was January, 2017, when the products had already been in the warehouse in Lagos long before the claimed manufacture date, which is a ploy to deceive unsuspecting buyers.
The SON-boss however warned importers who are in the habit of indulging in unwholesome trade practices to desist from such, as the organisation is more than ever poised to fished them out to face the full wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, the Police had weekend, paraded the two Chinese suspects arrested in connection with the fake imports and have also sealed the warehouse where they have allegedly been cloning different sizes of tyre under such brand names as Powertrac, Aptany, Harmony, Duraturn, Bearway, City Tour, Winda, Glory, Chachland, City Grand, Grandsonte and Sunny used for tricycle among other fake tyre brands.
Part of the trick adopted by these suspects is to adorned the tyre new labels and shinning linings to deceive buyer.