Four persons have been charged with a string of forgery offences, including the forging of 1,000 leaflets of the Ghana Revenue Authority's (GRA's) Excise Tax Stamp, with the intent to invade tax.
Joshua Gokah, unemployed; Alex Boafo, unemployed; Prince Bassoah, load carrier, and Kofi Aboagye, apprentice, who are currently in remand, appeared before a circuit court judge yesterday (Monday).
The charges relate to conspiracy to forging a trademark, forgery of trademark of an alcoholic beverage company, and counterfeiting excise tax stamp, contrary to sections 23(1), 26(1) and (3) of Trademark Act 2004 (Act 664), and section 16 of the Excise Tax Stamp Act (Act1873).
They are expected back in court on October 16, 2019, to continue their trial.
Police prosecutor, Inspector Goole, informed the court that the complainant in the case, Collins Asante, is the Manager of Kems Multi Beverage Company, producers of Charlie Ginger Liqueur, popularly known as “Ebetu.”
According to him, the accused persons, Joshua Gokah, Alex Boafo, Prince Bassoah, and Kofi Aboagye are residents of Sokoban, Aputuogya and Aprabon respectively.
On June 13, 2019, the accused persons allegedly met and hatched a plan to produce an alcoholic beverage to be labelled as Charlie Ginger Liqueur.
The prosecutor narrated that the accused persons proceeded with the plan and bought alcohol, cork, ginger and plastic bottles after printing counterfeit labels of Charlie Ginger Liqueur aka Ebetu, which were identical to the original ones produced by Kems Multi Beverage Company.
Inspector Goole said the accused persons also made 1,000 leaflets of counterfeit GRA Excise Tax Stamps with tax number AF142E95DD for their work.
Complainant got wind of the activities of the accused persons and alerted the police, who proceeded to the house at Aputuogya, where the production was taking place, and arrested them.
The prosecutor indicated that a search in the house by police, uncovered 603 branded bottles of Charlie Ginger Liqueur, 1,000 leaflets of GRA Excise Tax Stamp.
The accused persons reportedly confessed to the offences, while the Excise Stamp leaflets and the products were sent to GRA and Ghana Standard Authority for verification and examination.
Inspector Goole said reports from the two institutions indicated that neither the product nor the excise tax stamp was genuine. Investigation continues.