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12.02.2006 Regional News

CEPS Sector Commander calls for strengthening of Boat Squad

By GNA

Ho, Feb. 12, GNA- Miss Yaa Kesiwaa Amponsah, Aflao Sector Commander of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) has called on the authorities to raise the equipment level of the Boat Squad of the service to enable it check to smuggling by boat on the sea and rivers, especially on the Volta Lake.

She said in her Sector, for example, smugglers circumvent checkpoints by ferrying their goods on the Volta Lake to safe points along the banks and later transport them to their delivery points.

Miss Yaa Kesiwaa Amponsah, who is an Assistant Commissioner, made the appeal at the Annual Dinner and Awards Night of the Sector at Aflao on Saturday.

She said the squad needed new speedboats, protective and navigational devices to enable it to be ahead of the smugglers, who sometimes affixed more than one outboard motor to their boats. Miss Amponsah commended staff for surpassing the target for last year, despite the slump in business across the eastern frontier borders during the political turbulence in Togo in the first quarter of the year that resulted in intermittent border closures.

She said the Sector collected 261 billion cedis, 41 billion cedis or 15.57 per cent more than the targeted 220 billion cedis. The Sector Commander recalled that the Collection in 2004 also exceeded its target by 7.6 per cent, saying the 2005 performance made Aflao Collection the best in the country.

Miss Amponsah observed that the pursuit of smugglers flouting the ban on the overland importation of African prints since June last year, had stretched the human and material resources of the Collection to the limits.

She said about 23,187 pieces of smuggled wax prints, worth several millions of cedis in revenue, were intercepted by personnel of the Sector in their operations. The Sector Commander called on the officers to remain vigilant, hardworking and focused.

Miss Amponsah commended and awarded the Diamond Cement Company Limited (DCGL) in Aflao, which imports clinker from Togo through the frontier for maintaining its import tax obligation to the State. Major-General Richardson Baiden, Commissioner of CEPS in a message read on his behalf enjoined the personnel to incorporate quality in their work within the new culture of change aimed at integrating the Service into the world economy.

Mr Ben Suuri, a Chief Collector in-charge of the Dabala Check Point was adjudged the best manager within the Aflao Collection.

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