East Africa Bottling SC, local bottler of Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite and similar beverage brands in Ethiopia, announced that a sugar consignment destined to its plant in Bahir Dar was intercepted and confiscated by security forces in the town of Goha Tsion, in North Shoa Zone of the Oromia Regional State, starting late last month.
The bottler also indicated that the confiscated sugar consignment was around 720 quintals and was commandeered at different times at the same location starting late last month.
All the four trucks were seized while transporting sugar to one of its plants in Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara Regional State, in the same locality, the company said in a statement it has given to The Reporter.
According to the company, the four trucks were forcefully stopped in Goha Tsion town at Wore Jarso Woreda of the North Shoa zone, 180km North of Addis Ababa.
It was also learnt that, the sugar product in the first truck was been confiscated late October and that the consignment was distributed in the town for consumers immediately after being seized.
Again earlier this week, three more trucks (ISUZU-FSR) were prevented from passing through the same route and were made to unloaded all the sugar jointly by residents and security forces in the town.
In fact, this was not the first time when residents in the Oromia regional towns intercepted vehicles passing through their neighborhood in connection to illegal transferring of products by alleged contrabandists across the whole region.
It was to be recalled that the deadly clash that erupted in Ambo town last month was said to have been triggered by residents hijacking sugar loaded trucks while it was on its way from Fincha Sugar Factory to another destination.
According to the bottler, the sugar consignment is intercepted in connection to the recent incidents involving attempts of confiscating suspected illegal contraband products to and from Ethiopia and through the Oromia Regional State.
However, it said, the sugar was legally purchased from the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation and that it was being shipped to Bahir Dar to be used as an input to its bottling plant situated in the capital of the Amhara Regional State.
Documents reviewed by The Reporter show that the company purchased over 20,498 quintals of Sugar from Ethiopian Sugar Corporation’s Adama Warehouse in recent times. The corporation has written two separate letters to the Oromia Regional State’s Trade and Market Development Bureau ascertaining that it sold the sugar product to its customer (East African Bottling Company).
The Bureau on its part referred the two letters to the Woreda Police and requested the release of the sugar consignment.
However, there was no development in the case until press time Friday evening.