03.12.2008 Business & Finance

CEPS destroys intercepted unwholesome goods

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Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) in Brong-Ahafo, on Wednesday destroyed 2,192 cartons of assorted smuggled cigarettes in the country with a street value of GH¢7,233.6.

Also destroyed were quantities of unwholesome pharmaceutical products and 62 kilogrammes of Indian hemp. The Indian hemp was intercepted on the Techiman-Kumasi highway within the last two months.

Briefing the press before the exercise in Sunyani, Mr Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie, Assistant Commissioner and Brong-Ahafo Regional Commander of CEPS, said the cigarettes smuggled into the country from Nigeria, were also unwholesome.

He said the pharmaceutical products were intercepted at the Ghana-Ivory Coast border at Oseikwadjokrom in the Western Region.

Mr Tettey-Quarshie explained that the Ghana Pharmaceutical Board was the only agency mandated to give license for companies and individuals to transact business in the tobacco industry.

“It is illegal to sell such products on the Ghanaian market since the board has a franchise with the British American Tobacco (BAT) and they are the only agents with licenses and mandate to supply the cigarette products,” Mr Tetteh-Quarshie said.

He stated: “We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the BAT to intensify our anti-smuggling activities as well as maintaining protection tariffs to help curtail the smuggling of tobacco into the country”.

Mr Tetteh-Quarshie said the destruction of the items received approval from the Narcotics Control Board and noted that the exercise was part of CEPS' service delivery with regards to public health and safety.

The regional commander said those arrested for possessing the Indian hemp had been handed over to the police and the owners of the cigarettes managed to abandon the product. In the case of the pharmaceutical products, he said officials of the Food and Drugs Board were invited to examine the goods and they were declared as expired and unwholesome for human consumption.

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