Gambia expels grocer, bans chicken legs

2013-06-07 22:34
 (<a href=\\\\\\\\>Shutterstock</a>)


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Banjul - The Gambia on Friday banned imports of frozen chicken legs after expelling one of the country's most powerful business magnates for stocking groceries months past their sell-by date.

Lebanese-Gambian multi-millionaire Hussein Tajudeen, a former close friend of President Yahya Jammeh, was kicked out of the country this week for "engaging in undesirable business activities".

Tajudeen, who owns a chain of outlets including Gambia's largest supermarket, "was engaged in selling expired food stuffs, most of which have been in his stores for the past seven months," a government investigator told AFP.

"After a careful review and consideration of trade and health- related issues, the ministries of trade and health inform the general public and all importers of frozen foodstuffs that the government has decided to ban the importation of frozen chicken legs into the country with immediate effect," a Gambian government statement said.

The affair has sent shockwaves through the business community in mainland Africa's smallest nation, where retailers and the impoverished public rely on cheap imported goods to keep shopping bills down.

Tajudeen, scion of the nationwide Kairaba supermarket chain and a Gambian resident for 15 years, was also the country's main importer of rice and flour as owner of the parent company, Tajco.

It was not immediately clear what would happen to Tajco's Gambian interests in his absence.

The government did not officially link Tajudeen's deportation and the import ban but a presidential source told AFP: "The move to ban the importation of chicken was a reaction to Tajudeen's way of doing business."

Tajudeen, who owns businesses worth several million dollars in the Gambia and Lebanon, was ordered to leave within 72 hours on Tuesday and is understood to have complied.

A government statement said his "undesirable business activities" had "very serious health and economic consequences to the people and the state".

"Despite the fact that the Gambia has a liberal economy, the state will not condone greedy and unscrupulous businessmen who are just after their profit margin and not the welfare and well-being of the consumers," the government said.

The Kairaba chain and its Banjul-based parent company Tajco were reportedly placed under US sanctions in December 2010 for allegedly forming part of a multinational network that investigators said generated millions of dollars for the Lebanese movement Hezbollah, designated by the United States as "among the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world".

The sanctions targeted a network of businesses owned or controlled by Tajudeen and his brothers in the Gambia, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the British Virgin Islands.

Read more on:    hezbollah  |  yahya jammeh  |  the gambia  |  health  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.