Following reports by Neel Chandardadeo that he purchased a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes and won a scooter, the Demerara Tobacco Company has said that the man’s story is not above board, and that many things simply do not add up.
Chandardadeo says that he is being denied his prize by the Demerara Tobacco Company, but General Manager of the company, Charandat Chintamani, told Kaieteur News that the winner will receive his prize as long as he tells the company the truth as it relates to exactly how he came by the lid that contains the message “You’ve won a scooter”. If he bought a packet of cigarettes, he needs to say from where he actually made the purchase.
Earlier this month, the winner visited the tobacco company and showed them the lid of the cigarette pack, which indicated that he was the winner of a scooter. He was interviewed and referred to Beck’s Motor World.
At Beck’s, Chandardadeo said, he was told that he needed to return to the tobacco company where, upon being questioned by officials from the company, the man could not give a direct answer as to where he bought the cigarettes from, since he only produced the lid of the cigarette box.
Kaieteur News was told that, every time the man was challenged, he kept changing his story. It was noted that at one time he claimed that his wife bought the cigarettes for him, but according to the General Manager, when the company called the wife immediately, she denied ever buying the item.
That conversation was conducted on speaker phone so that the husband could hear his wife’s response.
The Demerara Tobacco Company is now puzzled as to why the man would want to lie about something so trivial.
Mr. Chandardadeo, of Melville Village, Wakenaam, said that, on September 9 last, he travelled to the Essequibo Coast to visit his sick daughter at the Suddie Hospital.
He said that while he was waiting at a stall that sold confectionery, his wife went to a gas station nearby and purchased a quarter pint of ice cream and a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes. He said that she gave him the cigarettes.
However, since the wife denied that she bought the cigarettes, the man then changed his story and said that he bought it from another shop in the area, but when the tobacco company checked with the retailer, they denied ever selling the man any cigarettes.
At one time, the place the man said that he purchased the cigarettes was not supplied with the batch of cigarettes that contained the winning messages.
Chintamani explained to this newspaper that, on every pack of cigarette, there is a code at the bottom of the pack, and from that code Demtoco can trace when the cigarettes were produced, and which area it was distributed to.
However, since the winner only produced the lid from the pack, the company cannot trace when the cigarette was produced or the area to which it was distributed.
Due to this, the company is now examining the possibility that what the man might have produced to them may be counterfeit.
It was also explained that there are those retailers who sell the cigarettes by sticks (loose cigarettes) and if they get a lid which indicates that they are a winner of a scooter, then the retailers can actually bribe persons to collect the prize for them. Retailers and their relatives are excluded from the competition.
However, the company claims that this is not right, since there are genuine customers out there who buy a lot of the cigarettes with the hope of winning something, and it would not be fair for a retailer to grab the prize.
At the same time, the tobacco company is seeking to cut out the purchase of ‘loose cigarettes’.
“At the end of the day, if a consumer purchases a product from us and they win a prize, we will give it to them,” Chintamani said.
The General Manager said that, so far, the man is not being honest with the company, and he urges that the man revisit the company so that he can ‘come clean’ with his story. The company would like nothing better than to award the prize.
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