MUSCAT, April 15 – The Primary Court in Salalah has found a fish factory in Salalah of violation of consumer protection law. According to the ruling by the court, the defendants were found to have given incorrect information to consumers by tampering with expiry date and hiding product details from them. The court sentenced the culprits to three months’ imprisonment and a fine of RO 10,000 for the first offence, in addition to 10 days imprisonment and a fine of RO 2,000 for the second offence.
According to a statement from the Public Authority for Consumer Protection, a case against the fish factory was filed following a report from Salalah Fishery Research Centre about possible corrupt practices being followed by the defendants. These included use of expired raw materials and tampering with the expiry date. A team of inspectors from the authority visited the factory and found over six tonnes of expired raw materials in the stores. The samples collected from the factory were sent to the municipal laboratories for testing and the results showed that they were not suitable for human consumption.
Following this, a team of judicial inspectors and specialists from the Salalah Fishery Research Centre were sent to inspect the warehouses of the factory. Apart from expired products, the team also found many containers packed with different type of fish, the names of which were not mentioned in the labels. Commenting to the verdict, Ali bin Salem al Basrawi, Director of the Department of the consumer protection authority in Dhofar Governorate, said: “This seizure comes within the framework of the role the authority plays in preserving the safety, health and rights of the consumers. It also comes as a confirmation that the authority is keen to deal with the reports with transparency”.