Over 10,000 gallons of smuggled cooking oil seized [Photos]

A joint task force led by the Tree Crop Development Authority [TCDA] has begun sanitising markets by seizing smuggled cooking oil.

On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the task force including a team from the Oil Palm  Development Association of Ghana [OPDAG], the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)—Customs Division, and National Security, confiscated over 10,000 gallons of 10 litres of smuggled oil from Kasoa New Market, Mallam Market, and Adabraka New Market.

The task force seized over 6,000 gallons of smuggled cooking oil from Perfect End Logistics at McCarthy Hill. The task force also confiscated over 2,000 gallons of smuggled cooking oil brands from Kasoa New Market’s Jaa-Mission Enterprise and four other retail shops.

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At Adabraka Market, the task force seized over 2,000 gallons of smuggled cooking oil from Golden Future Impex Limited, and 250 gallons of smuggled cooking oil was also impounded at Mallam Market.

Owners of the seized cooking oil at the various markets are expected to provide the GRA-Customs Division with the necessary documentations before their locked shops would be opened.
The exercise, which began in November 2023, saw the joint task force visit various shops to fish out smuggled cooking oils such as Aicha, Ami, and others into the country, which are sold at cheaper prices, causing local producers to lose money.

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Upon visiting some shops where large quantities of smuggled oils were discovered, the owners denied having any knowledge of the oils being smuggled into the country.

The coordinator of the joint task force, Mr. Paul Amaning, told the media that the reason for the task force storming the various market centres is to ensure that locally manufactured cooking oils are sold on the market to help boost the economy and create jobs in the value chain.

He added that the task force would not confiscate any imported cooking oil when the appropriate requirements had been met by the shops selling it.

“Once you import your cooking oil through the right channel that is the port and pay the necessary duties, we are okay with it”, he emphasized.

He further cautioned the general public, especially market women, to desist from smuggling vegetable oil through the land borders into the country.

“We will not hesitate to seize any smuggled cooking oil we see on the market. We can’t assure the safety of any smuggled cooking oil since the FDA hasn’t approved it. The local brands include Frytol, Hayat [Ghana made], Golden oil, others”, he stressed.

Mr. Amaning stated that the operation would continue until they have sanitised the entire market.

The Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana [OPDAG] lamented the constant smuggling of vegetable oil to the country through unapproved routes by some traders is depriving the local producers of over 600,000 metric tonnes of vegetable oil production monthly.

According to Mr. Selorm Quame, Executive Secretary of OPDAG, 300,000 of the 560,000 oil palm farmers are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of some market women’s constant dealings with vegetable oil smugglers.

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