The woes of Dabur Nepal, FMCG giant Dabur India’s independent group company in Nepal, mounted on Tuesday after state watchdogs raided its storehouse and sealed it with an admonition not to sell and distribute its fruit juices till investigations were completed.
“We have sealed nearly 74,000 cartons of Dabur Nepal’s fruit juices,” said Ishwori Prasad Poudel, spokesman at the Commission for Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA), on Tuesday.
The commission led the raid on Dabur Nepal’s factory and storehouse in Bara district in southern Nepal, accompanied by officials from the department of revenue investigation and department of food technology and quality control.
“The cartons contained juices manufactured in November 2010 but the stickers gave the manufacturing date as January 11, 2011,” Poudel told IANS.
“We are investigating if the licence given to Dabur Nepal allows for the use of a manufacturing date delayed by almost 71 days. If the licence allows it, the stocks will be released. If not, we will take action as per law.”
According to the official, the sealed cartons, including Dabur’s Real and Real Activ brands of fruit juices, are worth almost Nepali rupees 80 million.
The surprise raid with the support of security personnel occurred after a group, the Forum for the Protection of Consumers’ Rights, filed a complaint with the CIAA last week alleging irregularities in manufacturing dates. This is the first time that a multinational company faced raids by state agencies. Tampering with food products is punishable by a prison term of up to five years or a fine of NRS 100,000 or both.
Dabur Nepal continued to maintain a silence for the second day, declining to comment on the raid or issue a statement.