Bio-security officers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Friday, last week destroyed the dozen of concealed goods which was impounded from a shipment at the Ports International wharf in Honiara on Thursday 25th February.
The goods were destroyed at the MAL Bio-security Quarantine site at Ranadi, East Honiara, together with the smuggled seeds earlier confiscated from eight shops in Honiara during a joint operation by the Bio-security officers and RSIPF officers on the 25th January 2021.
The goods were seized after officers found that the importer, My Solo LTD, breached the country’s bio-security regulations by importing the products without a lawful import permit.
Bio-security Director, Francis Tsatsia said the destruction was safely done, however, he added that such destruction would send a strong message that the Bio-security department will not tolerate such act/practice to thrive as it puts the country’s bio-security in jeopardy.
“Importing products without a legitimate BSI import permit is an offence under the bio-security laws and offenders may face penalties for non-compliance or court of law,” Mr. Tsatsia explained.
He also warned businesses and individuals who avoid bio-security requirements to take extra safeguard and follow the right procedure and legal requirements.
Mr. Tsatsia while applauding his officers for the great effort said his office have directed that a formal investigation process will be carried out into the matter with the intention to charge and prosecute the offender with bio-security offences before court.
“The carton of goods were concealed inside a shipping container in multiple locations in a manner intended to avoid detection and examination by our bio-security officers.
“However, through a collective effort with the customs officers, we manage to remove the items. All the products are from Malaysia. The goods also include, pork meat which currently are under a Bio-security ban at the moment and other meat products prohibited under bio-security laws for importation,” Bio-security Officer, Jordan Lavia said.
“It is important that companies and individuals wishing to import goods or any sort of planting materials to comply with bio-security legal requirements. Non-compliance will see those breaching Solomon Islands Bio-security law to pay the legal costs,” Mr. Lavia stressed.
– MAL Media