15 Customs Officers fired over corruption

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Isaac-Crentsil-Customs-Commissioner-620x406FIFTEEN SENIOR officers of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) have been interdicted for allegedly causing huge financial loss to the state.

The interdiction of the officers – comprising four females and 11 males – followed their purported connivance with certain companies to evade duties and taxies.

President Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has been waging war against pilfering at the port, made possible through under-declaration of import duties.

Nine of the interdicted officers operate under the Tema Sector Command whilst the remaining are spread over other commands.

An act of an officer is alleged to have caused the GRA to incur a total liability of GH¢17,151,593.72, being revenue loss of GH¢8,575,796.86 and 100 percent penalty thereof.

This was contained in an interdiction letter, a copy of which is available to us, signed by the Acting Commissioner, Support Service Division, Fred Charles Anson and copied to other departments.

The GRA has also set up a committee of inquiry, in accordance with its conditions of service, to carry out full but speedy investigations and bring up findings and recommendations for disciplinary action to be taken.

Affected officers have been asked to hand over all properties belonging to the Authority to their various sector commanders before leaving the office.

They have further been barred from entering GRA offices until investigations are concluded or otherwise directed.

While some officials will be getting two-thirds of their monthly salaries during the period of investigations, others have been stripped of their salaries until the cases are disposed off.

Meanwhile, information gathered indicates that demand notices have been issued to a number of importers who have been confirmed from the system as having evaded taxes and duties.

The GRA management said it remained unshakeable in its resolve to deal firmly and uncompromisingly with those who are found culpable by sanctioning them as a deterrent to others who may come under temptation to collude with importers to deny the state of legitimate tax revenue.

It said the GRA was also bent on retrieving all revenue lost on account of the corrupt and unprofessional practices.

This is occurring a few years after ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, had exposed some officers for engaging in malfeasance.

Although they were interdicted for corrupt practices, the sanction appears to have yielded no positive result.

 

From Vincent Kubi, Tema

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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