Business News of Tuesday, 10 October 2017
The Eastern Importers Association (EIA) a group of traders who import goods from Togo using Aflao-Accra corridor have accused some members of the National Security on the route of infringing on their rights and harassing them.
The Importers said they are subjected to inhuman treatment by the Security personnel on the road as if they are criminals.
Addressing a news conference attended by over 100 aggrieved traders (members of the Association) all clad in red at Tudu, Accra, the Secretary to the Association, Isaac Okweesi Armstrong, stated that, “…for some time now members of the Eastern Importers Association have suffered so many brutalities, illegal arrest, inhuman treatment and harassment at the hands of a ‘gang’ claiming to be National Security Operatives, operating on Accra-Ho-Accra-Aflao route”.
He alleged that, members are sometimes assaulted, and threatened at gun point by uniformed military officers.
“Aside the inhuman treatment, brutalities and illegal arrest, we receive, these people who normally intercept us on Tema-Aflao and Ho Highways forcefully seize our goods, sometimes at the Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA check points; leave the goods at the mercy of the scorching weather even though most of the these goods are perishable for days all in the name of reexamination “.
Mr. Armstrong alleged that, goods seized from them are sent to Osu Castle instead of Custom Division of GRA.
“What even baffled our minds is that currently, when they illegally seize our goods with such flimsy excuses that the goods were being seized for either authentication or reexamination, they are not sent to the Custom Division of the GRA office at the Airport all in Accra as it used to be, but strangely the goods are sent to the former seat of government, Osu-Castle”.
The Group however, called on the Government, especially the President, to call these men to order, adding that the actions of the National Security Operatives have also added to “the corruption in the system”.
They also appealed to the government to make the process of moving goods on the Eastern Corridor routes flexible, so that they will not be forced out of business.
“When we are forced out of business it will affect Ghana’s revenue generation efforts and our families”, he disclosed.