Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it has opened an investigation on some customs officials taking bribes to assist importers smuggle thousands of cooking oil from neighbouring countries into Ghana.
It is estimated that the nation is losing three hundred million cedis in revenue as the smugglers and dealers are bringing in five thousand metric tons of cooking oil annually.
This was confirmed by the Senior Revenue Officer of Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Benjamin Bekai.
“We have the Internal Affairs Department that is under the good governance Department, headed by the Deputy Commissioner, and as we speak this matter is before them and they have begun investigations into it.”
” We have disciplinary measures in place. Customs is one of the institutions that disciplines our officers more, except that we don’t come on air to say that we interdicted soo much officers.”
He however assured that they have set up a prosecution Department that is in charge of smugglers’ offenses. According to him when the smugglers are arrested they make they are prosecuted.
The Customs Division is a paramilitary organisation which belongs to the Operational Division of GRA and forms part of the Country’s National Security architecture.
The Customs Division has offices strategically located at all points of entry and exit including harbours, airports, land borders and parcel posts as well as other inland offices.
Personnel of the Customs Division are identified by uniquely designed uniforms and accessories.
As the first line of defense, the Division plays a crucial role of protecting the territorial integrity of Ghana through its Preventive operations at both approved and unapproved borders.
The Customs Division is charged with three-fold responsibilities which include the:
Mobilisation of revenue from imports and exports Facilitation of legitimate trade and Provision of public security and safety