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The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) says enterprises within the Free Zones Enclave generally adhere to the regulations.

The Authority released a statement signed by Executive Secretary, Michael Okyere Baafu in the wake of the arrest of four individuals, who allegedly diverted goods meant for the Paga branch of COMET Ghana Limited to Nungua in Accra.

The statement said that “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,” according to the statement.

“The authority wishes to state unequivocally that Free Zones Enterprises are generally compliant to the Free Zones regulations.”

It said “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 said it has taken some measures, 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, therefore, urged all stakeholders to offer the authority the needed support to realize its mission of transforming Ghana 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,” it said.

The suspects are Kwame Agbah, a staff of COMET; Seth Nyarko of Magnate Technology; John Tetteh, who is a driver of vehicle registered GT 5160-12 and Daniel Owusu, a driver’s mate.The GRA had caused the arrest of four individuals for diversion of goods worth several thousand Ghana cedis.

According to the Director-General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Ntim, they were arrested on Friday, November 9, 2018 after the Authority received information that goods destined for Paga were being discharged at Nungua in the Greater Accra Region.

“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 being discharged at Nungua. I immediately dispatched the surveillance team to the spot where the goods were being discharged and intercepted them,” the Director-General told journalists at GRA Headquarters during a press briefing on Monday in Accra, where the four suspects were paraded.


According to him, on November 6, 2018, Ken Freight Logistics, licensed Customs House Agents, acting on behalf of COMET Ghana Limited, a registered Free Zone operator with no. F003, lodged a declaration with no. 92018485497 in the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) to export 3,000 cartons of assorted wine to the Paga Duty Free Shop.

He said “the goods were removed from its warehouse located at the Tema Free Zone enclave. The consignment, made of 2000 cartons (12 bottles each) of Don Garcia and 1,000 cartons Simon Sangria wine valued at GH¢139,359.89, is said to attract a duty liability of GH¢88,957.47”

“On 5th November, 2018, following the presentation of Commercial invoice with no TW-PAG (058/18) to the Resident Officer, Revenue Assistant 1, Anthony Ahadzi, vehicle with registration no. GT 5160-12 driven by John Tetteh was loaded with the goods, enroute to Paga. The Officer raised a Landing Account with no. 0288475 to authenticate the transaction,” he said.

Upon their arrests at Nungua, he said, one of the suspects, Samuel Kwame Agbah tried to bribe the team with GH¢2,000 with a promise to add more subsequently.
Source: Daily Guide

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