Gov’t to prosecute textile smugglers

Business News of Saturday, 31 January 2015

Source: B&FT

Murtala Muhammed Minister Info

The joint anti-pirate textile task force, constituted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) to curb textile smuggling and pirated designs, has destroyed hundreds of pirated Ghanaian textile designs it seized. The pirated textiles were seized at various border entry points and markets in the country.

A team comprising the Deputy Trade Minister, Murtala Mohammed, and members of the joint task force drawn from textile producers, vendors, and officials of MOTI, burnt a total of 3,500 pieces of pirated Ghanaian Textile Designs at the Kpone land fill site this week.

For the Deputy Minister, it is time for the country to introduce stiffer punishment to curb the practice. “It is not just about burning; we should go further to prosecute people who are engaged in that act because it is an illegality,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed said: “For all you know, the quantity of pirated textiles that they bring into the country, what the nation gets to seize may amount to 10 or 20 percent; so I think it’s time to look forward, and that is what the ministry is looking to do”.

Government’s ability to get enough revenue to build the schools and hospitals, to provide medicines in the hospitals, to provide social services to a very large extent hinges on the capacity and ability to protect such industry.

He commended the task force for the work it has done so far on clamping down on the counterfeit textiles, and urged Ghanaians to report persons dealing in such illegal acts — insisting that government alone cannot tackle the menace.

The task force team since its establishment in 2010 has undertaken 5 different destruction exercises with a total 6,000 pieces of Ghanaian textiles destroyed. Some of these textile designs were seized during operations spanning from 1st September 2014 to 31st December, at various outlets across the country.

Four persons are due in court after they were arrested at Makola busily engaged in selling pirated Ghanaian textiles.

John Kwesi Amoah, Assistant Manager Brand Protection ATL, said: “We want fair competition; we are not saying that government should ban people from importing textiles, but we want a fair competition. People should come with their own design and brand.”