Addressing the press at the Kenema police division, the regional crimes officer East, Sani Sesay, explained that the “five-gallon” oil rubbers were on board a Guinean truck with registration number RC 9364F en-route to neighboring Liberia.
Upon search the jerry cans containing the palm oil were found hidden in the truck, and the police established that the lorry was on its way to Liberia. The truck with its content was then brought to the Kenema police division.
The police them informed the senior trade inspector East, Kandeh Kanu, about the arrest.
A letter was then written by the ministry of Trade to the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) East, asking for proper action to be taken, saying that the government had earlier banned the smuggling of essential commodities such as rice and palm oil out of the country.
The trade inspector told the press that with further instructions from his ministry in Freetown, the palm oil was put on the market with a cost affordable by the public.
He then ordered the sale of the palm oil at Le20, 000 per ‘bata’ where in scores of residents in Kenema rushed to the police station to purchase them.
Mr Kanu said the proceeds from the sale would be returned to the owners.
He cautioned all that, “smuggling is a bad practice as it not only embarrasses the government but undermines it operations. Precedent must be set at all times”; and appealed to the public to give information to the police about the activities of smugglers.