GRA impounds 11,200 imitated wax prints
The Eastern Corridor Monitoring Team of the Ghana Revenue Authority has impounded 11, 200 full pieces of imitated wax prints concealed in an assorted merchandise in a 40-footer container.
The team has also seized 6,000 pieces of mobile phones concealed in assorted merchandise.
The concealed items were discovered by officials of the Customs Division of the GRA at the Dabala checkpoint upon a tip-off.
It is suspected the importers of the items were attempting to evade taxes.
In the case of the wax prints, it was found that out of the 11,200 prints valued at GH¢1.3 million, the importer declared only 98 full pieces and paid a duty of GH¢24,000 on them together with the assorted goods.
Briefing journalists, the officer in charge of the Eastern Corridor Monitoring Team, Senior Revenue Officer Dari Abdallah, said the concealed consignments were discovered after officers at the Dabala checkpoint insisted on a thorough check of the goods in the truck.
He said due to the level of sophistication of the smugglers and the various unapproved routes the smugglers use, Customs officials rely on informants to apprehend illegal importers.
While the monitoring team taskforce was unloading the goods from the truck for proper examination, the owner of the goods confessed that it was wax prints concealed under the goods.
After the discovery, the owner of the goods offered to pay the penalty on them but offered a lower rate than the 100 per cent required.
The impounded wax prints
The Second-in-Command at Aflao Collection, Emmanuel Parker, said the influx of smuggled goods due to the vast and porous borders was a challenge.
Customs officials, he said, were having a hard time at the border trying to combat smuggling activities.
"We are aware, they come in as per the threshold of clearing in Africa is supposed to be heavy loads, so they come with small pieces but anytime we do an arrest, we realise that there is more," he said.
He appealed for logistics and increased presence of customs personnel to combat smuggling activities on the Eastern Corridor.
" We need logistics.
We need men because the borders are vast and porous.
And when we close one side, another portion is opened," he said.