Three drivers who allegedly diverted cargo meant for Burkina Faso to a warehouse in Accra have been handed over to the police for further investigations.
The suspects were reported to have diverted six 20-footer containers of assorted canned drinks and lubricants from the transit yard at the Tema Port to a warehouse at Tabora, a suburb of Accra on May 3, 2018.
Briefing journalists at the State Warehouse at the Tema Port last Wednesday, the Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Dr Godfred Okoh-Appiah, said the articulated trucks with registration numbers GN 1374-17, GT 9995 Z and GT 9858-15, had been impounded, pending further investigations.
High duty goods
“The description under the transit category meant that the goods are not for local consumption and, therefore, cannot go under the examinable policy,” he stated.
He said the Command had in recent times noticed that the smuggling of high duty and excised goods were on the increase.
“We made a similar arrest on April 19, 2018 of refrigerated containers meant for Togo but were diverted to the Fishing Harbour where the cargo owners were offloading the contents for sale here in Tema”, he stated.
Dr Appiah also expressed worry over what he said was a rise in the falsification of figures on import duty by self-styled clearing agents operating at the Tema Port.
He noted that those agents often misled importers into parting with heavy amounts by deceiving them into believing that they (self-styled clearing agents) could clear their (importers) cargoes for them under specialised import duty rates.
“Many of these self-styled agents go round telling many importers that due to the paperless processes at the port, receipts are no longer issued on transactions, when in many instances they may not have paid the actual duty costs on imports,” he added.