Customs officers urged to tighten processes to prevent trade malpractices, money laundering

Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), the Commissioner Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, has called on officers to tighten all preventive processes to check money laundering, counter-terrorism and trade malpractices that pose security and revenue threats.

He said Customs officers needed to be abreast with the current trends in the industrial production space to stay efficient in the classification and valuation of all imports.

Col Damoah made these remarks at the closing ceremony of the Advanced Course in Scanning and Image Analysis, Radiation Protection and Nuclear Security in Accra.

The training is to enable the Officers to acquire knowledge in these areas to remain efficient in the discharge of their mandate.

He said equally the officers should be vigilant such that the use of all available artificial intelligence models was employed to stem the tide of smuggling and unfair trade practices.

The Commissioner said the World Customs Organisation, as well as the World Trade Organisation, expect Customs Officer to prefer non-intrusive methods of examination of imports and exports materials that move across Ghana’s ports of entry.

“As such the use of scanners and image analysis help us to enhance the automatic weapon, ammunition and contraband detection using the artificial intelligence models available,” he added.

Col Damoah expressed the hope that such a course would be a regular feature in the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and the frontiers as well as the inland stations to help enhance efficiency.

The Commissioner said the government hopes to secure the use of the Customs friendly scanners to manage Officer safety as well as consignment wholesomeness.

He said the ever-growing collaboration between the Division and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority would help secure the best protective gears and best operating procedures as they go about their daily work near and around the various ionizing and non-ionizing radiation equipment in the workplace.

Mr Philip Agbeko Dawuso, the Sector Commander at KIA, said the feedback from the Officers were very positive, expressing the hope that it would further enhance the Preventive assignment at the Airport.

“This l believe will adequately aid us to over-perform our revenue and security functions here in this collection,” he said.

He said the course was a hand-on-training on Customs Forensics that wad against smuggling of criminal materials in consignments through the KIA.

Mr Dawuso said restricted goods like food, medicine, cosmetics, household and industrial chemicals were critically looked at in the course.

He said the refresher course also brought to light international and national treaties and conventions that regulated the importation and exportation of all kinds of consignments for humanity’s common good but unfortunately, sometimes for other motives.

Mr Stephen Aniagyei, General Manager, Nick Scan said GhanaLink had continued to assist Customs with training on classification.

“We are committed to supporting the Customs Officers in seeking knowledge to become efficient in their mandate,” he said.

Mr Aniagyei called on the leadership of Customs to continue to avail themselves of collaboration to impart knowledge.