The Media for Consumer Protection attention has been drawn to the resurfacing of the K&K Trading Corporation into the rice market and call on the Ministry of Commerce to launch an investigation into the company’s resurgence despites revocation of its license by the Ministry in 2007.
It can be recalled that in 2007, the K&K Trading Corporation in an attempt to create artificial shortage of rice on the Liberian market with the intend of increasing the price of the nation’s staple food rice in order to maximize profit at the detriment of the consumers, began secretly moving rice from the Freeport of Monrovia.
The K&K Trading Corporation’s unscrupulous business practice was discovered by former Inspector-General of Commerce, Steve Flahn-Paye who immediately shut down the business and reported the matter to the then Minister of Commerce, Olubanke King-Alkerela.
This despicable and unwarranted business practice exhibited by the K&K Corporation and its General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chaouki H. Kadouh created panic among impoverish consumers and was later reported to President Sirleaf which led to the revocation of the company’s permit to import rice in Liberia.
Investigation conducted by the Media for Consumer Protection has established that K&K Trading Corporation was granted a temporary permit; and that upon satisfactory performance and improvement in business practice and attitude, the company would have been reissued a permanent permit.
It is not clear whether K&K Trading Corporation and its Manager Mr. Kadouh have transformed their unscrupulous business practice that led to the government’s action.
The group is therefore calling on Minister of Commerce, Axel Addy to request K&K Trading Corporation to produce the letter authorizing it to import rice because credible information received by the Media for Consumer Protection has revealed that the letter currently in the possession of K&K Trading Corporation that is being used to import rice has outlived its usefulness.
The media group has gathered that the Manager of K&K Trading, Mr. Kadouh has always advocated against the reduction in the price of rice whenever Government of Liberia held negotiation with rice importers in the country. In 2004, Mr. Kadouh requested the interim government to increase the price of rice and warned that there could be shortage of the commodity on the market if the government failed to adhere to the importers’ request.
Mr. Kadouh again in 2008, at a meeting at the Ministry of Commerce when the Government of Liberia was negotiating with the rice importers for possible reduction in the price of rice during the global financial meltdown, strongly opposed the decision for a price reduction.
The group believed that Mr. Kadouh’s business attitude for the importation of rice has not been transformed and appears that he doesn’t favor the open market system that has been introduced by the President Sirleaf led government which has created competition in the rice market thereby giving consumers the right to make informed decision for choice.
K&K Trading Corporation and Bridge Way Corporation were the only companies that were given the opportunity in the country to import rice under the regime of former President Charles G. Taylor, a situation that made them to make huge profits from the sale of rice.
When contacted the General Manager of K & K Trading Corporation said he has no comment on the allegations raise by the media group.