Controversy Surrounds Imitation Air Jordan Seizure Involving Portico Enterprises Partner
Gulab Sharma: he is one of the two partners of Portico Enterprises and the subject of a recent ad that alleges he received special treatment from the government. This week, reports emerged that one of Sharma’s companies, Yash International, was caught with a container of imitation Air Jordan tennis shoes in the Corozal Free Zone in April. The sneakers were reportedly confiscated and destroyed by customs. The incident wasn’t publicized, and reports suggest that it was to protect the business image of the free zone. However, when we asked Minister of Public Service Henry Charles Usher about the incident, he was unable to confirm the reports being made in the political advertisement.
Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Public Service: “I only know what I saw in the media and that’s not very much. As you said, there were only allegations and rumors swirling around. I haven’t seen any official report as to what the media had reported on and I’m sure that you would be able to get a better answer from the chairman of the Free Zone or from the Ministry of Finance. The Customs Department falls under the Ministry of Finance so they would probably have a better report if there was such a bust. I believe that the ads, if they are not accurate, if they are not truthful, then the persons in those ads will have every recourse to take the persons producing those ads as well as the stations running those ads to court for libel. So that’s something that would have to be looked into. As to the ads themselves, well we know that it’s being funded by an outside source. We know that it’s not being done by the opposition. They are in no position to be running those types of ads. They don’t have the capacity to do those types of ads. So we know it’s being done from an outside source for personal reasons. But you know this is a democracy and everybody can run the ads that they want. I’m sure Channel 7 is making quite a bit of money that are being run on that station.”
Our newsroom understands that Sharma’s company was one of two importers involved in the alleged counterfeit bust.