Tema, Aug. 14, GNA – The Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has impounded 51 containers of rosewood which was about to be shipped to India.
The exportation, marketing, and movement of rosewood, as well as its transit through Ghana has been banned.
Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Czas N. Sabblah, Customs Preventive Sector Commander, told the media that the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, re-enforced the ban on the exportation of rosewood on July 15, through an administrative instrument.
Assistant Commissioner Sabblah, who inspected the contents of the containers at the Tema Port, before its movement to the state warehouse, said officers from his outfit impounded the containers, which were about to be loaded onto a waiting vessel on August 9.
He noted that preliminary investigation and examination of some of the containers opened at the time of the detention proved that the consignment was rosewood being exported by Sidacon Woods Limited with Intercargo Services Limited as the forwarding agents.
He said his outfit is doing their best to locate additional six containers of the wood as their intelligence revealed 57 containers are to be shipped to India.
The Preventive Sector Commander added that Customs would link up with the Fore story Commission and the Lands Ministry to investigate the incident, after which the needed sanctions would be given to the culprits.
Mr Kwesi Ahiakpor, Chief Revenue Officer of Customs in Tema, explained that reinforcement of the ban was ordered by President John Dramani Mahama after he visited the Bui Dam and saw the extent of deforestation of the area as a result of the exportation of rosewood.
Mr Ahiakpor said information gathered about the containers showed that the company on June 24, made a declaration to export 80 containers containing 11,367 pieces
of rosewood with an export value (Free On Board) $ 806,023.53.
He added that the company was however unable to ship all the consignment before the re-enforcement of the ban in July.
According to him, documents received covering the shipment of the detained 51 containers was the June declaration, instead of a new one, explaining that because of the ban in July, all permits issued to companies to export rosewood were revoked.
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