How Col Damoah, others allegedly aided importers to evade tax in 2021 says National Security
Fresh revelations at the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) point to alleged infractions involving the Commissioner of Customs, Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) and other top officers.
A letter from the National Security dated October 21, 2021, questioned the Customs Division’s conduct during the impounding of some suspicious trucks then.
Deputy National Security Coordinator at the time, Edward Asomani, wrote to the GRA lamenting the conduct of some top Customs officers.
In the leaked document sighted by Myjoyonline, some trucks loaded with goods were impounded on October 8, last year, after intelligence found that the items had not been described appropriately.
Reports indicate that a Customs Intelligence team of the Customs—Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (CD-GRA) led by John Agbawu, with assistance from operatives of the Special Monitoring Team (SMT) of the National Intelligence Bureau, on 08/10/2021, intercepted and arrested two cargo trucks at DZORWULU traffic Light, near Fiesta Royale Hotel in Accra on suspicion of under-declaration and misdescription of goods,” it read.
The trucks which entered the country through Aflao were escorted to the Customs Laboratory Division at Airport Roundabout for re-examination.
The further assessment confirmed that many of the goods in the trucks were “undeclared and thus, no duties were paid on same.”
Per the letter to the GRA, Edward Asomani explained that “the traders were discourteous towards the arresting officers, with one of them allegedly placing a call to Col. DAMOAH, Commissioner of CD-GRA.”
“Subsequently, AGBAWU received a call from one Kojo BONSU, Staff Officer to the Commissioner, instructing him to release the trucks unconditionally.”
The arresting Customs officer, Mr Agbawu, is said to have “received another call from Adu KYEI, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, CD-GRA who also gave similar instructions.”
“Additionally, the trader who placed the call to Col, DAMOAH recorded the arresting officers on video, to be forwarded to him.”
Essentially, the persons were later released allegedly on the orders of the Commissioner of Customs Division of the GRA, Col. Kwadwo Damoah.
The National Security further called on the GRA to commence an investigation into the conduct.
“Given the implications of this development, particularly those related to tax evasion, on the domestic revenue mobilization efforts of GRA, your outfit is urged to investigate the matter and update this Ministry accordingly.”
The letter also demanded that the GRA takes steps “to prevent senior officials from undermining the work of customs officers at the various custom checkpoints across the country.”