Biosecurity officers of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Friday, last week destroyed the dozen of concealed goods which was impounded from a shipment at the Ports International wharf in Honiara on Thursday 25th February.
The goods were destroyed at the MAL Biosecurity Quarantine site at Ranadi, East Honiara, together with the smuggled seeds earlier confiscated from eight shops in Honiara during a joint operation by Biosecurity officers and RSIPF officers on 25th January 2021.
The goods were seized after officers found that the importer, My Solo LTD, breached the country’s biosecurity regulations by importing the products without a lawful import permit.
Biosecurity Director, Francis Tsatsia said the destruction was safely done, however, he added that such destruction would send a strong message that the Biosecurity department will not tolerate such act/practice to thrive as it puts the country’s biosecurity at jeopardy.
“Importing products without legitimate BSI import permit is an offence under the biosecurity laws and offenders may face penalties for non-compliance or court of law,” Mr. Tsatsia explained.
He also warned businesses and individuals who avoid biosecurity requirements to take extra safeguard and follow the right procedure and legal requirements.
Mr. Tsatsia while applauding his officers for the great efforts said his office have directed that a formal investigation process will be carried out into the matter with the intention to charge and prosecute the offender with biosecurity offences before court.
“The carton of goods were concealed inside a shipping container in multiple locations in a manner intended to avoid detection and examination by our biosecurity officers.
“However, through a collective effort with the customs officers, we manage to remove the items. All the products are from Malaysia. The goods also include, pork meat which currently under Biosecurity ban at the moment and other meat products prohibited under biosecurity laws for importation,” Biosecurity Officer, Jordan Lavia said.
“It is important that companies and individuals wishing to import goods or any sort of planting materials to comply with biosecurity legal requirements. Non-compliance will see those breaching Solomon Islands Biosecurity law to pay the legal costs,” Mr. Lavia stressed.
MAL Media Release