GHANA: Eleven queried over Anas’ Port exposé

Ghana Customs HQ
Eleven officials of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) identified so far in the video footage of Investigate Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, for allegedly collecting bribes from importers at the Tema Harbour, have been issued with queries to explain their conduct.

Asia 728x90

They are Ebenezer Anno-Kwakye, Chief Collector, Festus Adeho, Principal Collector, Simon K, Senior Collector, and Samuel Amiko, Collector.

The rest are Thomas Mpiani-Donkor, Collector, Samuel Sohah, Assistant Collector, Athanasius Tettey, Assistant Collector, James Konibe, Collection Assistant One (CA1) Sampson Okyere, CA1 and Eric Danso, JCA V1.

Disclosing this to the Times yesterday, Mr. George Blankson, Commissioner General of the GRA, said the Management was absolutely disgusted by their conduct but was to follow due process to get to the bottom of the matter for the law to take its course. “A technical team led by the Deputy Commissioner (Operations) of the Customs Division was set up to scan the GCNET system to identify cases of evasion.

“The list of companies screened in Anas’ video provided very useful information that was followed up in the system” he explained.

Consequently, Mr. Blankson revealed that “demand notices have been issued to a number of importers confirmed from the system as having evaded taxes and duties”. On receipt of the responses those found culpable would be handed over for criminal prosecution, the Commissioner-General stated, adding that “all these will be done by the end of the week (February 18)”.

With regards to the security breach of the GCNET system, he said that “we view it with a lot of concern and alarm, because the GCNET has its database, the trade data for the whole country and if their security could be very easily compromised it poses a lot of danger for the country and the GRA”.

Mr. Blankson said last Friday, February 4, on the same day that President Mills visited the Port, the GRA had established a contract with the National Information Technology Agency(NITA) under the Ministry of Communication and formally requested in writing to carry out an evaluation of the security of the GCNET system.

The GRA, he stated would issue a preliminary report on the issue and follow it up with an ICT audit of the entire GCNET system, as part of measures to expose any wrongdoings.

On demands for transfer of the personnel, Mr. Blankson said a phased transfer and relocation of personnel was ongoing at the Ports pointing out that “This is being done with a lot of circumspection to ensure that work was not disrupted as a result of the computerization of import declaration.

In the coming weeks, all staff of the GRA will be issued with Assets Declaration forms nationwide and given a deadline to submit them” he noted.

“By turning round to collude with unscrupulous importers and other Port users to deny the Government of legitimate revenue as exposed in the Anas footage, the officers have completely betrayed the trust and responsibility vested in them” he stated.

He affirmed the determination of the authority to recover every pesewa stolen or revenue lost as a result their activities.

Ghanaian Times