A 57-year-old man has been arrested for attempting to smuggle fake CFA80 million into the country through an unapproved route at Aflao, near the Ghana-Togo border.
The currency is equivalent to GH¢1.5 million.
The suspect, identified as Aremu Timothy Adeyboyegu, a Nigerian, was arrested while riding a motorcycle to cross into Ghana last Tuesday.
The money was concealed in a backpack he was carrying, which also contained CFA843, 000 and 110,500 naira in genuine currency notes.
He was arrested in a joint operation made up of personnel of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Narcotics Control Commission (NIC), the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the Military Intelligence, the Ghana Police Service, National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) involved in border management at the Aflao-Ghana border.
Briefing the Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview yesterday, the Aflao Sector Commander of the Custom Division of the GRA, Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Majeed Amandi, said with the vigilance of the joint team of security personnel, the suspect was apprehended and both the fake and genuine currency notes retrieved.
“The exhibits, he said had been transferred to the head office in Accra for the appropriate action to be taken.
Mr Amandi said he would be handed over to the police for prosecution depending on the outcome of the investigation.
According to him, the suspect breached the law on proper declaration of money, and he would be charged for attempting to circulate fake currency in Ghana.
Meanwhile the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the GRA, Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah, said “if there is a need to contact our Nigerian counterparts and other security agencies in the West African sub-region, we will do so.”
He said in line with the law, “goods must come to Ghana through the approved route and must be declared to the Customs officials who would demand if the person needs a permit or licence, or will intercept them if they are banned goods”.
Alhaji Iddisah said investigations would also determine if the money the suspect was carrying was proceeds from other crimes.
“Investigations will help establish how the money was printed, who printed it and who he was bringing it into Ghana. It takes some degree of knowledge to know a currency is fake, and most traders might not pay attention to some security details on a currency unless they take it into a bank or an institution that has a system for detecting fake currency,” he said.