[OUAGADOUGOU] Burkina Faso authorities seized around 1,300 tonnes of soft drinks with false expiry dates in the suburbs of the country's capital Ouagadougou, police sources said on Monday.
The drinks, in fact past their sell-by date, were intended for sale in Burkina Faso and were imported from Tunisia, via Togo.
At least 12 people have been arrested, said Oumar Soulama, the officer in charge of the investigation.
Around 40 trailers would be required to empty the warehouses where the goods had been stored, he added.
According to Soulama, false sell-by dates were put on the cans after solvents were used to remove the original expiry dates.
The director of the company importing the soft drinks was among those arrested.
He was alleged to be close to the regime of ousted President Blaise Compaore.
In addition to cans of Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite, police seized cans of tomato also past their sell-by date in another warehouse.
Fraud and counterfeiting are regular problems faced by the poor landlocked country in West Africa.