Fantasy store investigation ongoing

Fantasy Store has re-opened after being closed for two days following the closure of its associated bakery, which was recently found to be using and selling expired products.

Bakers Fantasy was closed by Male’ City Council on October 28. The council subsequently inspected three storehouses and Aioli Restaurant, which is owned by Fantasy Pvt Ltd.

Fantasy shops are known for imported products and quality produce, and are popular among locals .

Speaking to local media Haveeru, councilor ‘Jambu’ Hassan Afeef said expired products were found in two of three storehouses, and that storehouses were not properly lit. All expired products were destroyed, he said.

Aioli’s inspection yielded no surprises, he added.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News that the police had been ordered by the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office to investigate the matter.

“Fantasy is still being investigated,” said Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam. “The police wanted to investigate the store to be 100 percent sure that nothing expired was being sold, and we have told the store that it can continue operations but cannot sell foods prepared on site.”

The bakery remains closed.

The operation has involved several public authorities. Police initially tried to get a court order to close down the bakery. However, Shiyam said a court order was not needed as the council could perform the closure directly.

Fantasy Store was closed by police after ignoring an order from Community Health Services, which has legal authority to order temporary closures.

“The police went to the administrative office with a search warrant, but the staff refused to open saying they didn’t have the authority,” said Shiyam. “Police called senior management, but they wouldn’t answer the calls. Police waited two hours before an official came to open the doors.

“At that point the police could have used force to open the doors, but they didn’t want to do that. We wanted a peaceful operation,” he said.

At the time, police removed expired goods including yogurts from Fantasy Store shelves. Shiyam said the police were sensitive to the business needs of the company and employees.

“We got all the necessary information for our investigation, and believe the store can operate under certain restrictions. We know that there is negative business impact if the store cannot operate, and don’t want to hurt the local economy,” he said.

Officials at the Prosecutor General’s Office and Health Ministry had not responded to inquiries at time of press.