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3 Arrested For Evading Tax On Diesel   
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The managing directors (MDs) of three companies in Tema have been busted for allegedly importing diesel without authority and evading tax totalling GH¢470,000.

They are alleged to have succeeded in categorising the diesel as waste oil, for which reason the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) waived all taxes on the product.

They are Godson Akafo, the MD of Western Marine Company; Micheal Ologo, the MD of Timax Development Group and Justice Yaw Asare, the MD of Marine Tanker Wood Spirit.

The three are alleged to have imported the diesel into the country without authorisation and with the connivance of some officials of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and the NPA.

Evading taxes

The National Security, which effected the arrest, is working with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to identify and apprehend the TOR and NPA officials who are alleged to be involved in the fraudulent act.

According to the Director-General of the CID, Mr Bright Oduro, some operators in the oil sector had devised means of defrauding the state by evading the payment of taxes running into several thousands or millions of cedis.

He said in April 2017, Akafo approached Asare that he had secured a job to clean a marine vessel called the African Asphalt on the high seas and also to collect sludge or waste oil, for which reason he needed the services of Asare’s vessel, the M.T. Wood Spirit, to execute the contract.

Chemical analysis

Mr Oduro said on May 17, 2017, Akafo and Ologo agreed to use the Timax Development Group, owned by Ologo, to apply for a permit from the NPA for it to discharge sludge from the Tema Port.

He said the permit was granted, but the NPA had to conduct a chemical analysis on the product to ascertain whether it was genuine oil or waste oil.

The NPA then requested the services of TOR’s Quality Control Unit to sample it and ascertain the type, quantity and quality of the product, which was then at anchorage.

Waste oil

According to Mr Oduro, TOR, after the chemical analysis on May 29, 2017, stated in its report that it was difficult to ascertain the quality, viscosity or actual type of product.

 Notwithstanding the report, the NPA still went ahead to grant the permit to Ologo and Asare to discharge the waste oil aboard the vessel through the main Tema Port.

He said during the berthing and discharging operations, the three suspects managed to secure waybills for the tankers that carried the waste oil, as well as delivery form, and they cleared all the oil from the vessel at the port without paying any tax or customs duty because it was presumed to be waste oil.

Pure diesel

During the discharge of the oil, Mr Oduro said, someone realised that it was not waste oil but original diesel and so he hinted the NPA, who sought the services of INTERTEK Limited, an independent company, for a second test on the product.

The second test came out that the M. T. Wood Spirit was carrying 245 metric tonnes (289,940 litres) of pure diesel and not waste oil, as earlier claimed by Timax Development Group.

The results of the second test were later confirmed by TOR.

A report was made to National Security operatives at the port, who arrested the three persons for allegedly importing diesel without authority and evading tax and later handed them over to the CID for further investigations.

Preliminary investigations by the CID revealed that the three persons had used Timax Development Group to import diesel under the cover of waste oil, without possessing the requisite licence from the NPA to do so.


Source: graphic.com.gh

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