E- Roberts, a local producer of alcoholic beverages, was fined $LRD 42,000.00 for deception and an additional $LRD 105,000.00 for using a facility that did not meet distillery minimum standards.
A Commerce Ministry release says it was an oversight to include Mandingo Bitters in the items that were seized from E-Roberts and subsequently transferred to the National Standards Laboratory for testing.
The Ministry said the incident was an oversight and regrets any inconvenience the error might have caused the business.
During an inspection executed by the Commerce Ministry in August, in collaboration with the Liberia National Police, over 900 (nine hundred) cartons of alcoholic beverages were discovered, seized and subsequently transferred to the National Standards Laboratory for testing.
The over 900 cartoons contained variety of the alcoholic beverages said to be harmful, including E- Roberts Dry Gin and Legacy Bitters, but were later on declared fit after test by the Commerce Ministry proved that the items were not contaminated.
According to the release, the Commerce Ministry maintains that E-Roberts is a legally registered Liberian business, as initially mentioned, but the business had to be fined for deception by operating in an isolated area other than what is on its registration records, in addition to the facility not meeting distillery minimum requirements.
At the same time, the Commerce Ministry has accepted an appeal from the legal team of Fuzion Bar and Restaurant to reduce the $US3,000.00 ( Three Thousand United States Dollars) fine imposed on it to $US500.00 ( Five Hundred Hunted States Dollars). Fuzion was fined on September 4, 2019, after it refused entry to the Commerce Ministry’s Inspectorate during an ongoing inspection of business houses in Monrovia.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has re-iterated its commitment to ensuring a conducive business environment for Liberia and warned against unfair practices in the sector.