Two Chinese nationals, Taolung Shen and Xu Jing Yau, who allegedly imported and dealt in substandard tyres worth over N5bn, have been arrested by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The suspects were paraded after their arrest and according to a statement on Sunday, the warehouse where they had been cloning different sizes of tyres under various brand names has been sealed.
SON said 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.
Also some of the tyres found in the warehouse had post-dated manufacturing dates.
SON Director General, Osita Aboloma conducted journalists round the warehouse, and he described the tyres as dead on arrival, saying allowing the sale of such tyres in Nigeria tantamount to “surreptitiously taking away the lives of millions of Nigerians.”
Aboloma explained 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.
He further said the crude way the tyres were separated on arrival in Nigeria and the poor storage facility, without sufficient aeration, in the warehouse 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.
“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 added.
The use of substandard and expired tyres is a major cause of road accidents in Nigeria.