Inspectors from the Ministry of Commerce and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) have arrested a Fulani businessman for profiteering in the commercial district of Paynesville outside Monrovia.
Suspect Mohamed K. Diallo, proprietor of the Mohammed K. Diallo Trading Center situated on Pipeline Road in Paynesville, was apprehended Wednesday, 24 April for allegedly hiking the price of a bag of sugar contrary to government’s stipulated price.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s stipulated price for a bag of sugar is US$38.00, but businessman Diallo sells the commodity for US$48.00, an increase of US$10.
According to documents obtained by this paper, businessman Diallo on 22 April purchased 30 bags of Cocopesicar Sugar from Supplying West Africa Trading Incorporated at the cost of US$1, 200, which was delivered on 23 April in Paynesville Redlight.
Inspectors, who preferred to remain anonymous, explain that suspect Diallo is one of several business individuals violating government’s regulation and defrauding the State.
According to them, Diallo was arrested after a tipoff that he was exploiting customers of US$10.00 on each bag of sugar being sold to the public.
The suspect admits selling the sugar above the official price, and begs for pardon, promising never to repeat such action, but the inspectors refused on grounds that he (Diallo) was defrauding government of revenue.
He was taken to the Ministry of Commerce for hiking the price of sugar, which also undermines the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda. Meanwhile, businesses in Paynesville City have been warned to desist from profiteering or face arrest and punishment.
According to government regulation, any businessman caught in the practice risks a fine, prosecution or shut down. By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne