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22.03.2004 General News

CEPS Officer before court for tax evasion

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Accra, March 22, GNA - A Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) Officer and two others were put before an Accra Circuit Court for fraudulently evading custom and excise duty of more than seven million cedis on 689 cartons of ceramic mugs.

The three, Patricia Ayissal, CEPS Officer, Kwabla Quashigah, Clearing Agent and Abena Serwaa, Trader, pleaded not guilty to smuggling and other evasions.

The Court presided over by Mr Williwise Kyeremeh granted them bail in the sum of 30 million cedis each with a surety to reappear on April 5. Prosecuting, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Paul Frimpong told the Court that in January 2003, Serwaa of Awo Enterprise, imported 1,498 cartons of ceramic mugs into the country and handed the document to Quashigah of Top Express and Handling Company at Tema for clearing. ASP Frimpong said Patricia, who was the CEPS Officer on duty collaborated with the Agent and under-declared the value of the goods by entering 689 cartons instead of 1,498 cartons.

He said when the goods were being conveyed to Serwaa in an articulator truck, security men at the Eastern Gate intercepted it. The Prosecution said when the goods were re-examined, 689 extra cartons were found.

ASP Frimpong said a duty of more than seven million cedis was imposed on the goods with 100 per cent penalty putting the total duty plus tax and penalty to over 27 million cedis, adding that an additional fine of 10 million was imposed on the Clearing Agent by the Ghana Ports and Handling Authority, which were all paid against the receipt.

The Prosecution said the goods were finally released to the owner, and when the matter was reported to the Police, the three were arrested.

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