23.09.2004 Crime & Punishment

Two men face charges of tax evasion through smuggle

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Tema, Sept. 23, GNA - Felix Yaw Boye, trader, who sold two Opel Kadett cars smuggled into the country to a Nigerian woman, and defrauded her of a total sum of 35.5 million cedis, has been arraigned before the Tema Circuit Court 'A'.

Boye pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion, and has been granted bail in the sum of 60 million cedis by the court. He will appear before the court again on Tuesday, October 19.

Kwadwo Obuobi, car dealer, who is an accomplice, is now on the run. Narrating the facts of the case, Police Inspector Adolphus Otchere told the court presided over by Mr Charles Asiedu that in November 2002, Obuobi approached the woman, who had expressed interest in buying a car from him.

Inspector Otchere said after bargaining, the cost of the car came up to 17.5 million cedis, which she paid for, and collected documents covering the car.

The prosecution said the following month, Obuobi sold an Opel Kadett car valued at 18 million cedis, to the complainant, but later, it was found out that the car had been smuggled into the country. Inspector Otchere said the Nigerian woman became suspicious and contacted officials at the licensing office to ascertain whether the vehicles she had purchased from the accused person, passed through the necessary customs procedures.

The prosecution stated that investigations conducted at the licensing office revealed that the vehicles were uncustomed, whilst the registration numbers were forged.

Inspector Otchere said when the matter was reported to the police, the accused person was arrested, while the vehicles were impounded. The prosecution said investigations by officials from the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service revealed that the cars were smuggled into the country, thus the owner evaded tax.

The accused person has so far refunded 11 million cedis out of the total amount of 35.5 million cedis, the prosecution added.

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