Islamabad: Factory producing counterfeit fertilizer unearthed, owners booked
ISLAMABAD: A factory producing counterfeit fertilizer and using the name of a renowned manufacturer was unearthed in the capital’s rural suburbs on Tuesday, revealed police and the city administration. After the raid, Tarnol police registered a case on charges of forgery against five persons including two owners and an accountant of the factory. Worried by the discovery of the counterfeit fertilizer factory, the city administration asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to confirm the authenticity of other factories and industrial units working in the area as well.
The raid at the factory was conducted when manager of Al–Hamad Chemical, owned by PPP’s MNA Iftikhar Nazir from Khanewal, approached Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed and complained that their trademark and name was being used by a fake fertilizer company in Tarnol.
The complainant, Manager Al–Hamad Chemicals, Mohammad Munir, informed the DC that vendors had been complaining of low standards of the fertilizers.
An investigation was conducted and it was found that a group from Islamabad had used the Lahore based company that printed bags for fertilizer of Al–Hamad Chemicals to obtain the same bags for the fake fertilizer they were producing.
In light of this information, Lahores Manga Mandi police were informed which raided the bag printing company on Saturday last and found the identity of the fake factory.
A joint team of city administration and police then raided the factory (operating under Pakistan Agri Business), near Fatehjang Road.
During the raid, eight labourers and a joint partner of the company were arrested along with over 250 bags of counterfeit fertilizer and large quantities of raw material.
The raiding party also found hundreds of bags of renowned fertilizers from different manufacturers, including Urea, Pak–Arab Fertilizers, and Suraj Fertilizaters. A substantial number of bags with the USAID trademark were also recovered from the factory.
Later the arrested persons and the seized material were shifted to Tarnol police station for further legal action.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the company had an elaborate setup to take advantage of Hamad Chemical’s name and reputation.
It was revealed that the company – Pakistan Agri Business – obtained bags of Al–Hamad Chemical and sold the counterfeit fertilizer it was producing, using these bags. The accused also used names and trademarks of 10 other renowned companies. An official of the city administration revealed that the company was registered in Haripur, but it is yet to be verified if the registration is authentic.
Al–Hamad Chemical’s Manager Mohammad Munir told Dawn that the company had been operating in Tarnol for the last four years and using poor quality raw material. He also added that the company had neither a laboratory, nor chemical engineers, necessary to carry out chemical reactions for making the fertilizer.
When contacted, the Deputy Commissioner said that the administration had received a number of complaints of a similar nature and was trying to address it and take action against those involved.
The DC further said that such counterfeit, low-quality fertilizer was damaging the crops and causing financial losses to farmers. He said that such companies ruined the reputation of the original manufactures and caused heavy losses to exchequer because they did not pay taxes.