Customs intercepts smuggled edible oil on Yutong Bus

BY: Emmanuel Adu-GyamerahI
Asst Commissioner Seidu Yakubu (middle) inspecting the goods at the Sunyani office of the Customs Divison
Asst Commissioner Seidu Yakubu (middle) inspecting the goods at the Sunyani office of the Customs Divison

THE Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) last Thursday, December 20, 2018, intercepted 459 uncustomed 25-litre gallons of edible oil hidden in the goods compartments of a Bawku-Kumasi-bound Yutong Bus with registration number GN 2460-12 at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Officials of the division stationed at the Techiman Barrier became suspicious when the driver sped off after he had been asked to stop.

After a hot chase, the customs officials caught up with the bus and when an inspection was conducted, the goods were found hidden in the various compartments without any documents covering them.

Smuggling

Briefing the media about the incident, a Sector Commander of the Customs Division of GRA, Assistant Commissioner Seidu Yakubu, expressed concern about recalcitrant traders who smuggled goods into the country to deny the state of its needed revenue.

He estimated the Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) of the intercepted gallons of oil at GH¢39,864 and the tax liability as GH¢18,119.08.

Mr Yakubu added that management would decide the penalty to be paid by the owner of the goods.

Mr Yakubu advised vehicle owners to advise their drivers to refrain from carrying uncustomed goods since they risk their vehicles being impounded when caught.

He appealed to Ghanaians to assist officials of the Customs Division of the GRA to arrest people who smuggle goods into the country, adding that “we are ready to go all out to arrest such perpetrators and prosecute them to deter others from committing such crimes against the state”.

Mr Yakubu disclosed that even some drivers of the Metro Mass Transit were using their buses to carry uncustomed goods and warned such drivers that they risked losing their jobs, as well as facing prosecution when caught.

Owner of goods

The owner of the goods, 28-year-old Ms Hadiza Suala, who broke down in tears during questioning, said she bought the goods at Windana on the Ghana-Burkina Faso border and the driver charged her GH¢6,450 to convey them to Kumasi.

She said she paid some money to the security officials on the way before she alighted at Techiman for other assignments.

The driver of the Yutong bus, Philip Atta, told newsmen that “this is the first time that I have carried edible oil.

 The other time I conveyed spare parts and motorbikes”.

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