The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has arrested two Chinese nationals, Taolung Shen and Xu Jing Yau, who were said to have dealt in substandard tyres worth over N5bn.
The suspects, according to a statement on Sunday, were paraded following their arrest, and the sealing of the warehouse where they had been cloning different sizes of tyres under different brand names.
The suspects, the statement added, churned out the substandard tyres into the Nigerian market under brand names such as Powertrac, Aptany, Harmony, Duraturn, Bearway, City Tour, Winda, Glory, Chachland, City Grand, Grandsonte and Sunny.
According to SON, the suspects brought the substandard tyres into Nigeria by stuffing them into one another.
“Sometimes as many as five tyres were stuffed into one and the tyres would have bent and ruptured in several places, thereby looking weak and slack.
“But the Chinese adorned the tyres with new labels and shinny linings to create the impression of being new and healthy,” SON said.
Some of the tyres found in the warehouse had post-dated manufacturing dates.
The agency’s Director General, Osita Aboloma, who conducted journalists round the warehouse, described the tyres as dead on arrival, saying allowing the sale of such tyres in the country amounted to “surreptitiously taking away the lives of millions of Nigerians.”
He observed that by stuffing the tyres into one another and conveying them through the sea from China to Lagos, the quality of the tyres had already been compromised.
Aboloma also noted that the crude way the tyres were separated on arrival in Nigeria and the poor storage facility, without sufficient aeration, in the warehouse had further compromised their quality.
“The SON Directorate of Compliance intercepted one of their trucks on the highway, tracked it and then this.
“You can see the amount of danger that these people are posing to our people and our economy just because they want to make huge profit at the expense of the lives of Nigerians.
“It is a clear case of investing millions in illicit business in order to take away the lives of millions of Nigerians, to destroy the lives of millions of Nigerians. If we allow something like this, it will amount to killing Nigerians,” Aboloma said.
The DG said there would be no hiding place for people who dealt in adulterated products in the country.
“I want to reiterate that there is no hiding place for those who deal in substandard products as they would be caught and their products confiscated. Today’s feat is an example,” he said.
Aboloma advised users of automobile tyres nationwide on the need to be extra-cautious when making purchases of such products.
He urged tyre users to henceforth demand that dealers indicate the manufacturing dates on the receipts, so as to make the seller take responsibility on any product sold by them.