Jul 10, 2009, 9:14 AM
The Kanifing Municipal Police at Latrikunda Sabiji Market recently raided two Mauritanian businessmen for selling goods at exorbitant prices.
The two businessmen, namely Muhammed Hydara and Abass Ablie were arrested by the Municipal Police for selling onion and Irish potato at very high prices.
Speaking in an interview with this reporter at his office in Latri Kunda Sabiji Market, Chief Inspector Samba Saidy, the Head of the Municipal Police, said it all started when a soldier lodged a complaint at his office that, he wanted to buy onion and was told that a piece cost D10. Based on this information, he said, a search was conducted and the duo were found wanting. He said they were selling a bag of onion at 750 and Irish potato at D650.
According to him, they decided to seize 4 bags of onion and 6 bags of Irish potato which they took to the office to serve as possible exhibits.
"The two businessmen informed us that they also bought the onion from one Ebrima Camara another businessman, but a Gambian at D575 and sells at D650," he revealed.
He further stated that they later transferred the matter to their superiors at the KMC, where it had been personally handled by the Mayor of the council.
On the case of Ebrima Camara, Saidy said he was granted bail. He confirmed that before the raid, there was no enough onion and Irish potato in the said market.
According to him, since the arrest of the duo the prices of these two commodities have been significantly reduced.
Saidy, however, lamented that they find it very difficult to help address problems associated with price. As he put it, "for people like him, the butchers, for instance, sell to them accordingly but to women it's a different case".
"Even if you ask them how much you bought your meat they always tell you its ok the measurement is fine, I bought it from my client," he stated. Some even got angry with you as to why you ask them about their problem, he noted.
He called on the people to change their attitudes and help the police in the execution of their duties.
"Police work on information, but if people don't give us the necessary information it will be difficult for us," he added.
He advised all particularly the middlemen to report any case of over-pricing before they buy the goods from suppliers as, according to him, the burden would be passed onto the final consumers.
Meanwhile when contacted for further verification, the Major of KMC Yankuba Colley, said that the matter was under investigation. But he was quick to add that such practice will not be tolerated in the Municipality.