Business News of Tuesday, 13 November 2018
The Ghana Free Zones Authority has expressed its displeasure at the diversion of goods cleared for Paga to Accra, Nungua, by free zone enterprise, Comet Ghana Limited.
In a press release signed by the Executive Secretary, Michael Okyere Baafi, the authority lauded the Ghana Revenue Authority for its apprehension of the perpetrators and pledged its undying support to GRA’s Customs Division in ‘policing the movement of goods within the Free Zone areas’.
“The Ghana Free Zones Authority would like to state that it does not condone any illegal acts and would support the Customs Division of the GRA in carrying out its mandate of policing goods entering and exiting Free Zone areas,” the statement read.
The statement added that “The Authority has taken some measures and steps including contracting an independent consultancy to audit all licensed duty-free shops and household plastic manufacturing companies found to have violated the Free Zone Act 1995 (ACT504) and its supporting regulations.”
The Ghana Revenue Authority on Monday, November 12, 2018, apprehended four people for diverting duty-free goods cleared for Paga to Accra, Nungua.
According to the Commissioner General of GRA, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, a vehicle with the registration number, GT 5160-12 was carrying a 3000 thousand cartons of assorted wine made up of 2000 cartons of Don Garcia and 1000 cartons of Simon Sangria meant for Comet Ghana Limited’s duty free shop at Paga on November 6th 2018.
The Authority picked up intelligence on Friday, November 9th that the goods cleared for Paga were being discharged at Nungua.
“On Friday 9th November 2018 acting upon intelligence that a consignment of Free Zone goods released for export to Paga the previous day had been diverted and was being discharged at Nungua,” he said.
He accused Samuel Kwame Agbah of Comet Ghana Limited of trying to bribe one of the intelligence team members with GHC2, 000.00 with the promise of giving him more on a later date.
Below is the full statement by the Ghana Free Zones Authority:
Statement From Ghana Free Zones Authority On Diversion Of Goods From A Free Zones Enclave Meant For Export To Paga
The Ghana Free Zones Authority’s attention has been drawn to a press briefing addressed by the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on the diversion of goods by COMET Ghana Limited; A Free Zone Enterprise.
The Ghana Free Zones Authority would like to state that it does not condone any illegal acts and would support the Customs Division of the GRA in carrying out its mandate of policing goods entering and exiting Free Zone areas.
The Authority has taken some measures and steps including contracting an independent consultancy to audit all licensed duty-free shops and household plastic manufacturing companies found to have violated the Free Zone Act 1995 (ACT504) and its supporting regulations.
The authority wishes to state unequivocally that Free Zones Enterprises are generally compliant to the Free Zones regulations. The Culpability of one Free Zone Company in wrongdoing should not provide justification for condemning the entire Free Zone scheme. The implementation of the Free Zones policy has created significant amount of direct and indirect employment and has contributed immensely to the economy of Ghana.
The Authority is, therefore, urging all its stakeholders to offer the authority the needed support to realize its mission to help transform into the Gateway to West Africa.
The Authority wishes to also assure the law-abiding Free Zones enterprises that the Ghana Free Zones Authority and its stakeholders will continue to create the conducive environment for their businesses to thrive.
Executive Secretary, Michael Okyere Baafi