By Constantinos Psillides
Cyprus Supermarket Association (CSA) representative Andreas Hadjiadamou on Saturday called on the government to publicise all relevant information regarding the merchant in whose warehouse police seized thousands of products headed for the market after having their sell-by dates changed.
“We urged the state to release the merchant’s name, his company’s name, the names of all companies he does business with and the name of all products seized,” said Hadjiadamou, adding that CSA has reported similar incidents in various occasions but the authorities did nothing.
“Those responsible should open their eyes and monitor all these merchants so as to protect Cypriot consumers. The only protection the consumer has is if they know who these merchants are and what their companies are called. We are looking into proposing law amendments that will get rid of this phenomenon once and for all,” the CSA representative said.
Hadjiadamou noted that cases like this hurt supermarkets and “every legitimate businessman who pays his taxes and operates within the law”.
The warehouse in question was located in Polemidhia, Limassol and was run by a 51-year-old man, acting as a distribution centre where products had the sell-by dates changed before they were returned to the market.
The merchant is currently at large. Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told the Cyprus Mail that for the time being there was no criminal case against the merchant. “We are waiting for Customs and the Health Service to conclude their research. If by using their findings we can bring charges against him we will do so immediately,” he said. Angelides added that the merchant’s whereabouts were known to the police.
Among the products found by authorities were coffee, energy drinks, condoms, chocolate, chewing gum, and sweets.
The health services published a list of products found in the warehouse whose sell-by dates could be falsified.
Maresi Vienna Ice Coffee, black, cappuccino, classic, coffee and milk 230ml plastic cup, Big Shock Energy Drink, orange and exotic 250ml can, and orange 500ml can.
Consumers who have the products in their possession were urged to avoid consumption until the case was fully investigated.
A statement released by health Services on Saturday said that all the products have been photographed and by Monday their total value would be estimated. Products found to have their falsified dates will be destroyed, said the statement.