Prosecution begins in GHC 700m cedi bonded warehouses scandal

Government has begun prosecuting some companies involved in the GHC 700 million cedis bonded warehouses corruption scandal.

A presidential task force last year revealed that some importers compromised customs officials and cleared goods from bonded warehouses without paying any duties to the state.

More than 280 private and public companies have been cited for in the seven year long corruption scandal 2005-2012.

Some of the major companies cited in the report of the task force are United Steel Company Limited, $86,059,463; the Hippo Group of Companies, $48,440,486; Trusty Foods Limited, $20,890,556, and Movelle Company Limited, $20,489,556. Others are Dry Food Processing Company Limited, $8,214,537; Caitec Delta Limited, $7,439,870; Euro Food Ghana Limited, $2,285,603; B5 Plus Limited, $15,519,729, and CCTC Ghana Limited, $10,394,130. State agencies such as the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), $877,329; the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), $2,354,048, and the Ministry of Communications, $1,729,249, have also been implicated in the report.

Government directed all implicated companies to pay back the monies by the end of last year November.

According to a presidential staffer, Dr. Clement Apaak, government has retrieved GHC 320 million from some of the companies since the ultimatum was given.

“We gave them a deadline to make payment and they have and we said those who didn’t pay we will prosecute them and that is ongoing”, he stressed.

Some of the companies have since denied their involvement in the scandal but Dr. Apaak has threatened to make public the list of companies if they continue to deny.

He said: “Call at least two of the companies which came out to deny to ask them whether today they can come out to deny what they denied in October and then when they say yes it is true that they never owed state and that they didn’t pay you then call me I will come to the studio with my list and I will demonstrate to the whole world.”

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Service has taken over the case.

Dr. Apaak explained that “those companies which were not going to heed the call to do the right thing by paying the duties they should have paid and the interest that they have to pay on that the CID was going to take over after the deadline and as I speak to you the CID has written to every single company and they’ve been inviting them in badges of ten to come and respond to the summons that have been brought against them.”

By: Rabiu Alhassan/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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