Muscat: The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) raided expatriate workers roasting coffee and nuts and preparing spices in an unauthorised factory in Barka. The raid was carried out by consumer protection inspectors in cooperation with the Royal Oman Police and the Public Prosecution. The raid followed after the Directorate of Consumer Protection in Barka received a tip-off that expat workers were involved in an illegal activity at farm in Barka. The inspectors verified the information following an investigation and evidence collection and then sought a search warrant from the Directorate of Public Prosecution in Barka.
A team of inspectors raided the farm and found a number of expat workers in possession of illegal products. They used to roast and grind coffee as well as prepare nuts and pack them in new bags carrying labels with incomplete information. They sold the products without an official authorisation in an environment that lacks health and hygiene safety standards. The items seized included 48 sacks of coffee of different brands, 312 coffee cans, a number of cooking oil containers (18 litres), 150 kg of garlic, 130 kg of chilli powder, 90 kg of turmeric, 28 kg of honey, 17 bottles of coriander, in addition to quantities of peanuts and barbecue spices and cinnamon and cumin.
They also found a large number of containers, sacks, plastic bags and labels, grinders, a laser printer, gas cylinders and other items used for making fake products. Yusuf bin Ahmed al Riyami, Director of Consumer Protection in Barka, said the case was referred to the Public Prosecution. He said that the investigations have revealed an Omani citizen is the owner of the illegal factory. Unfortunately, such illegal activities happen in rented farms and always there is no legal agreement between the two parties.