The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is the apex standardization body in Nigeria with the aim of certification of industrial products and production of quality goods.
Director-General and Chief Executive, of SON, Osita Aboloma the Chinese importers were arrested through inter-agency collaboration and intelligence received from Nigerians whistleblowers.”
The arrested suspects are Taolung Shen and Xu Jing Yau both Chinese nationals, who were in the business of importing substandard tyres into Nigeria, the seized tyres worth over N5 billion.
Taolung Shen and Xu Jing Yau, the 2 suspects, were paraded following their arrest, and the sealing of the warehouse in Satellite Town, Lagos where they had been cloning different sizes of tyres under different brand names.
The Director General (DG) and Chief Executive, of SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma disclosed that Directorate of Compliance, SON intercepted one of their trucks on the highway, tracked it and then this. You can see the amount of danger that these people are posing to our people and our economy just because they want to make huge profit at the expense of the lives of Nigerians.”
Osita Aboloma, who conducted journalists round the warehouse and paraded the suspects, described the tyres as dead on arrival, saying allowing the sale of such tyres in the country amounted to taking away the lives of millions of Nigerians.
It was glaring to all, that all the tyres in the premises were expired products. Mr. Osita Aboloma stated they also uncovered other illicit activities including re-labelling, high level of stuffing of several tyres into one, tampering with expiry dates and stacking the tyres in very bad conditions.
The suspects brought the substandard tyres into Nigeria by stuffing them into one another. “Sometimes as many as five tyres were stuffed into one and the tyres would have bent and ruptured in several places, thereby looking weak and slack. According to SON
“We have over 60 containers of tyres; actually stuffed tyres to be precise. Again, even if these are to be standard tyres, the fact that up to five of them were tucked into one, with operators using rods to separate them from one another when they reached Nigeria, the tyres will naturally become substandard. “This is because in the course of separating them, the wires and geometrics of the tyres will be affected.”
The suspects had been cloning different sizes of tyres under such brand names as Aptany, Harmony, Powertrac, Duraturn, City Grand, Grandsonte etc.
Mr. Osita Aboloma said that “It is a clear case of investing millions in illicit business to destroy the lives of millions of Nigerians. If we should allow something like this, it will amount to killing Nigerians.”
He said stuffing tyres through the long sea journey from China to Lagos had already compromised the quality, not to talk of the crude way the tyres were separated on arrival in Nigeria and the poor storage facility, without sufficient aeration in the warehouse.
Mr. Osita Aboloma disclosed that “because we have sensitised the public that while buying tyres, they should look out for the manufacturing date, these people postdated their tyres to reflect manufacturing date to be first week of January 2017. Some of the tyres found in the warehouse had post-dated manufacturing dates.
“You can see the amount of danger that these people are posing to our people and our economy just because they want to make huge profit at the expense of the lives of Nigerians.
“It is a clear case of investing millions in illicit business in order to take away the lives of millions of Nigerians, to destroy the lives of millions of Nigerians. If we allow something like this, it will amount to killing Nigerians. That there would be no hiding place for people who dealt in adulterated products in the country.
“I want to reiterate that there is no hiding place for those who deal in substandard products as they would be caught and their products confiscated. Today’s feat is an example,” he said.
Aboloma advised users of automobile tyres nationwide on the need to be extra-cautious when making purchases of such products.
He urged tyre users to henceforth demand that dealers indicate the manufacturing dates on the receipts, so as to make the seller take responsibility on any product sold by them.
Aboloma thanked SON Directorate of Compliance for discovering the warehouse and other meaningful Nigerians for volunteering information to the agency, saying that those arrested in connection with the latest deal would be tried in line with the new SON Act and if found guilty, prosecuted.
Aboloma advised users of automobile tyres nationwide on the need to be extra cautious when making purchases of such products.