DRC: Regulator, importer horn-locked in the contaminated sugar scandal

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By Josephine Lukoya

The Congolese Control Office (CCO) is locked in the controversy with the shipping company SOCIMEX over importing contaminated sugar. Three weeks in Matadi and Boma (Bas-Congo) a shipment containing 7,800 tons of sugar from Brazil to Democratic republic of Congo is believed to be contaminated.

Jean-Claude Vuemba, elected member of Kasangulu says part of the cargo is actually made of contaminated sugar.

However, SOCIMEX (import-export Company), rejects that assertion as the importer of contaminated sugar.

Jean-Claude Vuemba led parliamentary information in Boma and Matadi to inquire about this situation. Sunday, March 25, he told the media that “On March 3, after reporting a cargo of sugar damaged. SOCIMEX cargo, boarding the ship “Princess Martyr” of Turkish crew, is under scrutiny.

The president of the National Assembly and government has decided to send fact-finding team to carry out the enquiry.

He said that “among the bags boarded by the OCC, there is a lot that has been declared unfit for human consumption” while affirming that there is another part of the same cargo that the laboratory did not deter.

The coordinator SOCIMEX, Donatien Tshimweneka recognizes that a cargo of sugar arrived in Boma and Matadi on behalf of his company and a sample of this product is under study in the laboratories of the OCC.

“To say that this sugar is already declared unfit for consumption, when the OCC is yet to confirm would be unfair,” he said.

At the OCC, we confirm the deposit of 135,000 bags of 50 kg of sugar labeled “Infiniti Bio-energy”. According to Claude Mabenze, the assistant general manager of the office, SOCIMEX was ordered to take all necessary steps to return the cargo as “deemed non-compliant”.

“All product labeling must honestly inform the consumer. But the product found inside does not match the label, “he said. Concerning the quality of sugar, It looked “the outcome of ongoing analyzes to determine if the product is unsafe for consumption.”

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