Forum Solomon Islands International is accusing the Ministry of Health and Medical Services of taking sides with the illegal cigarette importer, Oceanic Oasis Company Limited, OOCL.
In a statement yesterday, F-S-I-I said the Ministry appeared to be siding with the Asian company in a letter it wrote to the importer, dated the fourteenth of last month.
F-S-I-I says according to the letter, Acting Permanent Secretary Dr Chris Becha instructed a Peter Wong from the company to put graphic and written health messages on the pack of cigarettes he imported in order to comply with the Tobacco Act and its regulations.
But F-S-I-I’s CEO, Benjamin Afuga, said the acting PS should not communicate with Wong as he was a controversial importer of TS cigarettes.
Mr Afuga also said the acting PS should consult Customs and Excise before issuing any letter to Wong who has breached the country’s customs and excise laws.
Mr Wong came under spotlight after he was caught importing cigarettes onboard a logging vessel MV Cape Nassau.