Stakeholders in trade and freight services have noted that smuggling along unapproved routes at the Elubo frontier in the Western Region is affecting revenue generation by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The Authority (GRA) observed, for example, that cheap rice from Cote d’Ivoire had fueled the smuggling of the commodity into Ghana.
The Stakeholders, therefore, urged the Customs Division to tighten security at the border and landing sites to bring the nation wreckers to book.
These were views expressed by participants at a tax seminar on the theme “An enlightened tax payer promotes voluntary compliance” organised by the (GRA), for Customs officers at the Elubo border on Thursday, as part of its 2014 – 2017 strategic plan.
A Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of the Customs at the Elubo Border Post, Mr. Aaron Debrah, warned smugglers that “When you are arrested the law will take its course and you will be prosecuted at court for committing an offence under Act 891,” he warned
Smuggling, he said, weakened the economy as the country loses revenue and foreign exchange.
The law, he said, provided that smuggled goods should be forfeited, explaining that goods seized other than perishable goods, should be deposited at a state warehouse, stressing, however, that the Commissioner General may direct that such goods be sold immediately by public auction or any manner and proceeds retained.
Mr. Debrah stated: “Act 891 dwell extensively on penalties relating to smuggling are severe.According to the law, goods liable to forfeiture are seized and the officer who seized the goods shall give written notice to the owner.”
He urged importers and exporters to route their goods into the country through approved points and asked the public to support the security agencies, particularly Customs to fight smuggling.
The Sector Commander of Customs Division of the GRA at the Elubo Border, Mr. Daniel Mensah, cautioned smugglers that the security agencies would clamp down on bonded them.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Elubo