Two containers loaded with palm oil in jerry cans were yesterday opened by the Ross Road Police after it was caught at the entering point of the Ports Authority.
The two containers were about to be shipped out of the country to The Gambia despite government’s ban on the exportation of essential commodities to other countries. Each of the containers contained above a thousand jerry cans and was owned by Abu Bakar Saine and Maria Jiga who abandoned the containers when they were caught.
Abu Bakar Saine explained that he was a Sierra Leonean and a businessman and that it was his first time of shipping out commodities like palm oil out of the country. He denied knowledge of the ban on exporting essential commodities as he said somebody did his shipping arrangements for him.
Both the Assistance Inspector General of Police in charge of crime services, Francis Munu and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alimamy P. Koroma inspected the containers, after which the minister briefly spoke to the Press.
The minister labeled those that were continuing exporting essential commodities as enemies of the state and praised the Sierra Leone Police for intercepting the consignments bound for The Gambia.
Giving a brief historical background of the ban on essential commodities he said the rampant exportation had an effect on the market as some unpatriotic people continue to export the goods. He thus stated that government considers the exportation very seriously and saw it as depriving the people of Sierra Leone. Since those goods were confiscated, the minister said it will never be the property of the individuals that owned them before Monday.