pThe taskforce of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Western Region, has impounded more than 25 vehicles, since the beginning of the year.
This is because the owners have engaged in customs offences, including abuse of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) protocol, affixing fake registration numbers on vehicles, using wrong vehicle documents and dodging customs duty on vehicles.
The Western Regional GRA Commander, at Takoradi, Mr Francis Tanlongo, who disclosed these to the Ghanaian Times in an interview, last Saturday, said his outfit formed a seven-member taskforce to check vehicle owners, supermarkets, water production companies, educate and ensure compliance with rules of GRA.
According to him, the taskforce would expect owners of the impounded vehicle to produce relevant documents on their vehicles, adding that the taskforce would release vehicles to those who would settle all customs duties within a specified period.
Mr Tanlongo explained that under the customs law, any vehicle that entered Ghana had to be declared within 60 days, and failure to comply with the order resulted in the seizure of the vehicle for 30 days so that customs could establish whether the vehicle was smuggled into the country.
He said after 30 days if the owner did not produce the relevant documents, the vehicle was seized and particulars taken to the GRA headquarters and the vehicles gazetted and sold to the general public through auction sales.
Mr Tanlongo advised potential vehicle buyers to crosscheck vehicle documents at Customs office, to ascertain whether the vehicle passed through custom clearing point before payment was effected.
He appealed to the public to volunteer information about smuggled vehicles or goods into the country, for the proper documentation to be done, adding that informants would be rewarded.
Mr Tanlongo said a penalty of not less than 300 per cent in addition to the duty would be charged on defaulters.
FROM PETER GBAMBILA, TAKORADI