Customs officers in the Ashanti Region have intercepted a container carrying goods after discovering that the owner had failed to pay duty on them.
The officials have sent the case to the Customs Division investigative Department of the Ghana Revenue Authority for further investigation.
This container was intercepted at Adiembra, a Kumasi suburb, after customs authorities discovered that the importer was dumping unentered items.
According to Customs officers, the importer failed to pay duty on a vehicle and motorcycles brought into the country.
Kwame Agyemang Badu, the officer in charge of Preventive at the Ghana Revenue Authority’s Customs Division, recounted how his officers intercepted the products.
“The suspicion was that duties have not been paid on the goods. Our officers moved to the scene and lo and behold, they found a container loaded on a truck. Upon examination, we realized there was an unentered vehicle and five motorbikes which were also not entered.”
“We quickly informed the sector commander who gave instructions that the goods should be detained pending further investigations.
The seizure of these products came only days after the Importers and Exporters Association’s leadership accused Customs personnel of harassing its members in the Ashanti Region.
During a recent stakeholder engagement in Kumasi, the Association reported that Customs officers had intercepted the items of members, particularly those in Kumasi.
However, according to the Ashanti Sector Commander of the Customs Division, Vivian Glover, the introduction of these items indicates that the officers are not purposely targeting importers.
“This is a coincidence and not a vindication. We are partners in the development of the nation. We are just implementers of policies. We have been mandated to collect revenue. And the importers are our partners. They have to import for us to get a job to do. So, there is no way we can deliberately target them. We are encouraging them to comply with the rules to be able to import more to get more revenue for the nation.
Customs authorities have promised to step up their efforts to track down and arrest tax evaders.
The duty will be levied against the owner of the items.
After the investigations are completed, the owner of the items will be forced to pay the duty with a 300 percent penalty.