General News of Monday, 18 December 2017
Source: Daniel Kaku
A group calling itself, Concerned Importers Association of Tema Harbour (CIATH) has called on the government as matter of urgency sack four officials of the Custom and Excise Preventive Service (CEPS) from the Harbour for involving in corrupt acts.
In a petition issued on Monday, December 18, 2017 and signed by its Public Relations Officer (P.R.O), Mr. Kwesi Botwe indicating that the four CEPS Officials at the Harbour are engaging in certain irregularities and illegalities in the Custom Division hence their acts are making the state loosing more revenues.
The CEPS Officials in alleged corrupt acts are; Mr. Felix Kojo Mante (CEPS Officer at the Headquarters), Mr. Yankyera (Rtd. Commissioner Customs but now Technical Advisor to the GRA boss), Madam Akoto Bamfo (Operations Manager CEPS Tema) and Mr. Ahmed (Clearing Agent).
Mr. Botwe has accused them of collecting monies by way of bribe from some companies and individual importers and promising those companies to help them evade taxes from the Harbour.
According to him, “In a recent incident, the above mentioned Officials went to a company with registration name ‘White Frozen Foods’ and told them to pay some amounts of money to them (Bribe) and they promised them to help them evade taxes and also fast forward their clearing processes.. said company, is a company which pays about 31 million Ghana Cedis to the government as tax, in every two months but these Officials told the company to pay bribe to them and in return help them to evade their taxes.
He lamented that the said huge amount of money if collected lawfully could have been help the government to facilitate and finance it’s policies.
The group is therefore, calling on the government and for that matter, President Akufo-Addo to investigate them and subsequently terminate their appointment immediately and also prosecute them to serve as deterrent to others at the Harbour.
Below is the full petition
Petition of Concerned importers Association of Tema Harbour.*
Addressed to His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo President of the Republic of Ghana
CC : The Vice President of The Republic of Ghana Dr. Bawumia
Commissioner General of Customs Division. Mr. Kofi Nti.
*Corruption and Illegal practices at CEPS*
*Statement of petition*
It has come to the notice of we the concerned importers of Tema Harbour that, the practices, acts and omissions of some officials of the Custom and Excise Preventive Service are illegal, unlawful and in contravention with laws of our land.
*Mr. Felix Kojo Mante ( CEPS officer at the Headquarters)* *Mr. Yankyera (Rtd. Commissioner Customs but now Technical adviser to the GRA boss)* *Madam Akoto Bamfo (Operations Manager CEPS Tema)* *Mr. Ahmed ( CEPS officer in charge of clearing)*
The above mentioned well known CEPS officials are engaging in certain irregularities and illegalities in the Custom division.
The above mentioned officers have failed to be diligent in their service and engage in acts such as *collecting monies by way of bribe from companies and individual importers and promising them to help them evade taxes (Tax fraud).*
In a recent incident, the above mentioned officials went to a company with registration name “White Frozen Foods” and told them to pay some amounts of money to them ( Bribe) and they promised them to help them evade taxes and also fast forward their clearing processes. The said company, is a company which pays about 31 million Cedis to the government as Tax. In every two months.
This is undoubtedly a huge amount of money which the government could use to facilitate and finance it’s policies. But, the officials *Mr. Felix Kojo Mante ( CEPS officer at the Headquarters)* 1. *Mr. Yankyera (Rtd. Commissioner Customs but now Technical adviser to the GRA boss)* 2. *Madam Akoto Bamfo (Operations Manager CEPS Tema)* *3. Mr. Ahmed ( clearing agent)*, told the company to pay bribe to them and in return help them to evade their taxes.
Subsequently, the company rejected and declined to this offer.
The company, after rejecting this unlawful offer, has been threatened and witch – hunted by the above officials to collapse their business and make things tough for them at the CEPS. (Tema Harbour) and also, we can attest to the fact that, the above mentioned officials have taken steps in collapsing the companies which have rejected and declined to similar offers by these officials.
However, it is evidentially clear that, some other importers and exporters have accepted this illegal offer and instead of paying monies to the Ghana Revenue Authority as tax, they rather pay these huge monies into the accounts of these officials. That is to say that, the CEPS officials have succeeded in evading these companies from paying their taxes.
It is rather unfortunate that, individuals and companies who want to see this nation develop and be part takers by way of paying their taxes duly and regularly and not spectators as the president said, are now being witch – hunted and threatened of collapsing their businesses
Recently, on July 15 2017, 50 officials of CEPS where interdicted by the government for similar offences committed. It was established after investigations that, these officials had succeeded in gaining more than 1.2 billion CEDI’s personally at the detriment of Ghanaians and the government.
It maybe too great to human frailty if we allow this officials to still hold sensitive offices in the CEPS.
We suggest that, the acts above mentioned officials at CEPS should be investigated and their appointment subsequently terminated immediately because we strongly believe that, the acts of these officials are even making the government loose more funds ( taxes) than the previous interdicted stuff.
Finally, if the government in any way fails to punish and terminate the appointment of these officials and they still remain in office and continue to persecute us in the name of the state for being law abiding citizens, then we promise to also corporate with them at the detriment of government and the state at large.
PRO for Petitioners (Mr. Kwesi Botwe)