Police in Aweil says it confiscated three jute sewing machines and has put owners under investigation accused of using the machines to repack expired goods for resell in the state. Police say they also seized some food commodities and will test the samples to see if they are suitable for human consumption.
Captain Guot Guot Akol is the police spokesperson in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. He says they were alert by some community members who suspected the traders of selling expired food items to customers.
Akol says they briefly arrested 16 traders on Wednesday but later released them on bail, and the investigation is continuing. “We saw that these traders have three machines to use for sewing jute bags when they repack the food at the market. Automatically, we suspect that they are selling expired goods because if not, why do they repack the items.”
Guot Akol says the suspects will appear in court if the police get concrete evidence of malpractice in repacking expired goods.
Deng Makol Athian is the chamber of commerce in Aweil, Northern Bahr el Ghazal. He says the presence of the machines in Aweil is a government responsibility to investigate how they get into the state. “I have come across such food commodities, and I must say these are not being packed here, but for the machines, I don’t know how it got in here.”
Late last year, some community members in Aweil urged the government to put quality control in place because most people are illiterate and can’t read to know the expired date.