Following the exposure of the 290 importers who conspired with some customs officials to dupe the nation to the tune of 735 million Ghana Cedis by dubiously clearing their imports from government bonded warehouses without paying anything to the state, some have admitted their guilt and have decided to pay their accumulated duties in full.
Information that is bouncing around is that CCTC Ghana Limited which used the backdoor to clear goods worth 20,788,260 Ghana Cedis has decided to pay back the amount in full to avoid prosecution.
Other companies involved in the underhand dealings who have also agreed to pay back the amounts in full to the state coffers are Sucatrade Limited (4,381,940 Ghana Cedis) and Market Direct Limited (68, 976 Ghana Cedis).
But some companies who have contacted the SOU quietly and agreed to pay the monies are praying that their identities be kept secret to avoid public scorn and shame.
It must however be noted that some of the companies that were exposed in the massive bonded warehouse deals are trying to play hardball by pretending that they do not know anything about the issue, whilst others have threatened to fight the government in court.
But the government is very much determined to retrieve the monies come what may. We are hearing that if the offenders fail to pay the monies back by the end of November, they stand to be prosecuted in addition to being slapped with hefty penalties.
“We will not rest, we will not relent, and we will fearlessly pursue these nation wreckers and retrieve the monies. Ghana is bleeding financially and these looters will never be allowed to get away with this massive fraud”, a member of the Special Operations Unit (SOU) under the office of the Chief of Staff told me.
It will be recalled that the SOU through its investigations uncovered massive fraud involving 290 importers who conspired with some customs officials to dupe the nation to the tune of 735 million Ghana Cedis by clearing their imports from government bonded warehouses without paying anything to the state.
The robberies which involves some leading companies in Ghana, ranging from steel companies, auto dealerships, pharmaceuticals, fisheries, supermarkets, telecoms, foods, veneer and plywood, energy, foam, construction, dates back from 2005 to the end of 2012.
Twenty of the companies involved in the crime which is considered one the worst in the country's history are United Steel Company Limited (172,118,926 Ghana Cedis), Hippo Limited (97,098,942 Ghana Cedis), B 5 Plus Limited (43,694,392 Ghana Cedis), Trusty Foods Limited (41,781,111 Ghana Cedis), Movelle Company Limited (40,978,990 Ghana Cedis), CCTC Ghana Limited (20,788,260 Ghana Cedis), Dry Foods Processing Company Limited (16,429,075 Ghana Cedis), Caitec Delta Limited (14,879,740 Ghana Cedis), Mansell Ghana Limited (13,757,656 Ghana Cedis), Ghana China Foods (12,719,850 Ghana Cedis), Naja David Veneer & Plywood (12,309,882 Ghana Cedis) and Nexans Kabelmetal Limited (12,022,439 Ghana Cedis).
Others are Jaykay Industries & Investments Limited (11,626,080 Ghana Cedis), Britak Steel Complex Limited (10,922,763 Ghana Cedis), United States of America Agency (10,606,898 Ghana Cedis) and Atala Limited (10, 494,324 Ghana Cedis).
The rest are Novel Ghana Limited (9,854,218 Ghana Cedis), Kimexcom Ghana Limited (9,035,638 Ghana Cedis), USAID Ghana (8,471,219 Ghana Cedis), Ghana Electrometer Limited (6,219,340 Ghana Cedis and Sucatrade Limited (4,788,834 Ghana Cedis).