CEPS Seizes Banned Wood

Surveillance and intelligence of the state revenue agency mounted at the port led to the interception of the consignment.

Collaborative effort by the Preventive officers at the Customs headquarters in Accra and their counterparts in Tema, led to the interception of the containers last Saturday.

According to information, the containers would be conveyed to the Customs Prisons at the State warehouse for the type of action to be determined by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

The items in the containers were said to have been mislabelled by the exporter and the agent ostensibly to outwit Customs officials but their alleged plan misfired.

When DAILY GUIDE visited the port, the containers loaded with the rosewood had been packed at the premises of Meridian Port Services (MPS) where they were about to be loaded onto a vessel before they were detected by the Customs officers.

Mr. Czas N. Sabblah, Assistant Commissioner, Preventive Division of CEPS, who led a team of journalists to the Tema Port where the containers were opened, said the containers were intercepted on July 15, 2014 following intelligence and vigilance by the revenue agency.

He urged stressed that no rosewood timber in any form would be allowed as transit timber through Ghana.

The Assistant Commissioner explained that field monitoring in the past months showed that there had been a rise in indiscriminate felling of rosewood in the fragile and ecologically sensitive Savannah zones of the country.

Government since January 1, 2014 issued a ban on the harvesting, transportation, processing, export or sale of rosewood in any form.  The measure was instituted to curtail the practice whereby rosewood was illegally harvested in Ghana, transported to neighbouring countries and brought back into the country as transit timber.

Permits and licences issued to companies such as Messrs Nana Adu Tutu and Sons Limited; Messrs Sidakon Woods Limited; Messrs Boakyewaa Enterprise; Messrs Kambonse Ghana Limited; Messrs Time Concept Limited; Messrs Commodities Limited and Messrs Meyiri Limited for the removal, harvesting, processing and exportation of rosewood from the Bui Dam site and other areas, were recently revoked by the government.

From Vincent Kubi, Tema

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