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General News of Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Source: GNA

Calls for a ban on "Akpeteshie" Bitters

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Suhum (E/R, May 23, GNA- Nana Tabi Amponsah, District Officer in-charge of Co-operative Distillers and Retailers in the Suhum Kraboa/Coaltar District has called on the government to ban the sale of "akpeteshie" bitters, a locally distilled gin in the country. He explained that, currently the drink is claiming a lot of lives because some of the herbs used in the preparation of the concoction contain high narcotic substances.

Nana Tabi Amponsah was speaking at the annual shareholders general meeting of the Abuakwa State Co-operative Distillers and Retailers Union Limited held at Suhum at the weekend.

He said the union paid a total of over 17.6 million cedis in taxes to the government and made a net profit of over five million cedis last year as against 1.9 cedis realized in 2005.

The meeting also elected a new Board of Directors of the Union. Nana Tabi Amponsah called on the government to grant loans to the co-operative unions to enable them expand their businesses and create more jobs in the rural areas, which would lead to more taxes to the government for development.

Mrs. Patience Twum, District Secretary of the Union, appealed to the police and the law enforcement agencies to restrict the operations of unregistered "akpeteshie" distillers since most of them do not pay tax to the government.

Mr E. A. Martey, Chairman of the Union, said judgment had been given in the long-standing dispute between the union and the unregistered "akpeteshie" splinter groups. He said the judgment favoured the Union and therefore appealed to the government to enforce the recommendation in the ruling.

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