Crime

Customs officials intercept containers of undeclared goods in Ashanti Region

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Customs officials in the Ashanti Region have intercepted and detained a container loaded with goods after they detected that the owner had failed to pay duty.

The officers have referred the case to the investigative department of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority for further investigation.

The container was intercepted at Adiembra, a suburb of the Kumasi metropolis after customs officials detected that the importer was offloading unentered goods.

According to customs officers, the importer did not pay duty on a vehicle and five motorbikes that were brought into the country.

The officer in charge of Preventive at the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Kwame Agyemang Badu, explained how his officers intercepted the goods.

“We received intelligence on Friday that there was a container at Adiembra, Kumasi, where goods were being discharged. The suspicion was that duty had not been paid on the goods. So, when I got the information, I informed my commander, who gave me the go-ahead to mobilize men to go to the scene. We quickly did that, and our officers moved to the scene. And lo and behold, they found the container loaded on a truck. We told the people to bring the container to our yard, which they complied with. We asked them to unload the goods, and upon examination, we found unentered vehicles and five motorbikes.

“We quickly informed the sector commander, who gave instructions that the goods be detained pending further investigations. We will hand them over to the investigative department, and they will take it from there.”

The detention of these goods comes days after the leadership of the Importers and Exporters Association accused customs officers of harassing their members in the Ashanti Region.

The association claimed during a recent stakeholder engagement in Kumasi that customs officers have been intercepting goods belonging to their members, especially those in Kumasi.

But the Ashanti Sector Commander of the Customs Division, Vivian Glover, said the interception of these goods shows that the officers are not intentionally targeting importers.

“This is just a coincidence. We are not deliberately harassing them. We do it on the basis of intelligence, and this is one of those cases that has vindicated the officers. We will intensify our monitoring, and we will also inform the exit points, the harbours, and the ports to pay attention to their examination,” she said.

The owner of the goods will be made to pay the duty, plus a 300% penalty, after investigations are concluded.

 

Source: Hafiz Tijani

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