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10.04.2004 General News

CEPS intercept goods on Aflao-Accra highway

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Dabala (V/R), April 10, GNA- Officials of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) at the Dabala Check-Point last Thursday intercepted a Mazda bus near Vume on the Aflao-Accra highway, with a quantity of un-customed goods worth 55.7 million cedis.

The goods, according to CEPS were said to have duty value of about 20.9 million cedis. They include 1,334 pieces of Nigerian and imitation wax prints and 50 bundles of shirting materials.

No one has claimed ownership of the goods as the driver and one other people on the vehicle escaped into the bush.

Mr Sammy Quarmyne, a Chief Collector of CEPS at the Dabala Check-Point told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that his unit had information on Thursday morning, that the vehicle was being loaded at Sokpoe with smuggled goods, which were ferried across the Volta Lake the previous day.

He said about 0400 hours on that day, five officers were sent to Sokpoe at the Accra end of the Sogakope and signalled the driver of the bus to stop. Mr Quarmyne said the driver stopped at a distance but before the team got to the vehicle the driver and those on the vehicle had fled into the bush.

He said upon examination the team found a quantity of sacks containing wax prints and shirting materials in the vehicle.

Mr Quarmyne said the vehicle was escorted to Dabala checkpoint. Meanwhile GNA investigations at Sogakope, Sokpoe, Tefle and other lakeside communities have shown that ferrying smuggled goods across the Volta Lake to avoid custom officials at Dabala and Sogakope is on the increase. This is as result of the suspension of the operations of the CEPS Boat Unit, which patrolled the lake in those areas following the theft of the unit's only outboard motor.

In addition, the CEPS authorities have not been able to complete a sentry post for the unit on the riverbank at Sogakope.

It is also alleged that informants are not adequately rewarded to entice whistle blowers who expose smugglers within the Aflao collection area, believed to have over 50 smuggling routes.