Unscrupulous cement dealers have emerged in the construction industry threatening to unleash havoc that could ultimately destroy confidence and the very existence of many a player in the industry.
BY STAFF WRITER
Information coming from the cement industry is that there are fraudsters that have descended on the market with stolen cement bags or replicas which they use to sell their own substandard cement.
According to confidential information obtained by Standardbusiness, thousands of empty cement bags are being siphoned from reputable cement producers by unscrupulous cement dealers who then pack them with their own sub-standard cement of unknown origin and release this fake product on the market.
Customers are duped by the appearance of the cement bags which are marked with the name of reputable popular brands and they use the product for construction unaware that they are using fake cement.
“The danger is the potential structural damage that this scandal stands to cause. We are going to have houses, big buildings and even some huge capital projects being built using this fake product and the result could be disastrous. Quality is going to be compromised, leading to the likelihood of rework being required as the quality and integrity of structures would be questionable,” said a player in the cement industry who preferred anonymity on account of the matter being under investigation.
The source said the industry was very concerned and worried that customers were being duped into paying high prices for low quality products, which would result in the overall product in the industry losing reliability.
“The reputation of bona fide cement companies is at great risk because of this scandal,” he said.
The companies said while investigations were underway, the only help they could give to consumers was to warn them against rush and careless buying of cement.
“We warn consumers to purchase the product from only reputable resellers and branded and authorised stores. Bag tampering is a criminal offence and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he said, adding that the gravity of the crime was worsened by the fact that it affected the economy a great deal.