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Five tons of garlic imported for seed sold at market for consumption

Jakarta Post | March 13, 2018
 The Islamic Chamber of Commerce , Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA)

Around five tons of garlic suspected to have been imported from China with the incorrect permit has been found in Kramat Jati Market in East Jakarta. The garlic was imported with an agricultural permit, however it was allegedly sold at the market for consumption.

The Trade Ministry confiscated the garlic on March 2 and had begun an investigation, the ministry’s trade compliance director Veri Anggriono said on Monday.

“If the import permit was for seed, the garlic is not supposed to be traded at a market. It is supposed to be distributed for planting,” said Veri, adding that the garlic had been sold at the market for a week before it was confiscated by the ministry.

An investigation of a storage facility owned by importer PT Tunas Sumber Rezeki in North Jakarta has begun, however the ministry acknowledged it was difficult to ascertain whether or not the garlic was intentionally sold for the incorrect purpose.

“While garlic for consumption and garlic for seed looks the same, we will take disciplinary action if the importer is proven guilty of purposely trading the garlic intended as seed for consumption,” said Veri.

Sutrisno, director of PT Tunas Sumber Rezeki, however, said he had no idea why the sacks of garlic with seed labels were found in Kramat Jati Market. “I believe it was just miscommunication,” he said on Monday.