Three More Customs Officials, Indians Arrested At Tema Port

Ibrahim Mutala MohammedThree more high ranking customs officials and some Indians were picked up yesterday morning by the Presidential Taskforce on revenue mobilisation, in connection with under-hand dealings at the Tema port.

The customs officers in question, two Chief Collectors and an Assistant Chief Collector (names withheld), were arrested in connection with the seizure four days ago of the two truckloads of alcohol bound for Togo, but which were diverted and offloaded at the harbour, and the five containers which were offloaded at the port without the presence of National Security officials, as required.

The arrests brings to six, the total number of customs officials who have been apprehended at the harbour, aside some clearing agents and Indian owners of the goods in question.

According to a Deputy Information Minister, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, the three senior officers were arrested after their superiors had been duly briefed on their shady deals at the port.

He told journalists at the media briefing session at the Flagstaff House, Kanda yesterday that the taskforce was committed to ensuring that fertile grounds were not created for such unfortunate incidents to recur.

The Deputy Minister indicated that the government would initiate the speedy prosecution of the offending officials even though he conceded that the judicature would be in the hands of the law courts.

“Even the leadership of security agencies at the ports and borders are unaware of the members of the taskforce,” Mohammed said, pointing out that the operations of the taskforce was not limited to the ports.

“Other illegalities at certain places will be uncovered and the perpetrators punished,” he stressed, disclosing that “some goods have also been impounded at the Ghana-Togo border.”
Mr. Murtala Mohammed commended the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy, a policy think-tank, whose crusading activities had complemented the efforts of the taskforce by bringing to light some illegalities at the port.

He has also promised that video footages of the fraudulent activities at the port would be made available to the TV stations for the public to appreciate what was going on.

About a week ago, a Deputy National Security representative at the Tema port, three customs officers, some clearing agents and some Indians were arrested by the taskforce mandated to plug loopholes in revenue leakages.

The arrests had to do with five containers which were offloaded at the port without the conduct of a premise examination by customs officials and national security operatives. It also involved the diversion of two truckloads of alcohol.

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