The investigation by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) into alleged fraudulent practices involving the Labianca Group of Companies and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has been criticized by the Customs Staff Association (CSA) as being faulty (GRA).
The Association claimed in a statement that the report is inaccurate and “borne out of the misconception.”
The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Rules on Customs Valuation and Section 67 of the Customs Act are allegedly violated by the Benchmark Values utilized by the OSP as a means of valuation rather than a risk management tool.
The committee is assured that the OSP’s conclusions in the Labianca case are technically faulty as a result of this.
Parts of the statement said, “There is therefore no issue with the permissions given by the Commissioner as such approvals are in compliance with the Customs Laws and established procedures in force.”
The Labianca Group of Companies, a frozen food company controlled by Council of State member Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, was found to have an import duty gap of more than US$1.074 million, according to a report published by the OSP earlier this week.
The OSP argued that Ms. Asomah-Hinneh took advantage of her status as a Council of State member and board member of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to influence the Customs Division’s judgment.
According to the report issued by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, Ms. Asomah-influence-peddling Hinneh’s resulted in a reduction in the tax obligations for her frozen foods company, giving it an unfair competitive advantage.
But the Customs Division has refuted the Special Prosecutor’s claim against some of its officials in the case of Labianca Company.
The Commissioner of Customs, Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) who was indicted in the report accused the OSP of malicious intent with the aim to discredit the Customs officers.
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