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Labianca case: GRA dissociates itself from Col. Damoah’s comments against Special Prosecutor

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has distanced itself from some comments made by the Commissioner of Customs concerning the findings of a case involving its Customs Division.

The Commissioner of Customs, Col . Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) last week denigrated the Special Prosecutor’s work regarding a foreign food importing company, Labianca, which suggested alleged irregularity at the port.

The report had concluded that the owner of Labianca had taken advantage of her position as a Board member of the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA) at the time to get favours for her company.

The Special Prosecutor recovered an amount of ¢1.074 million from the company whose owner doubles as a member of the Council of State, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh.

A Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Operations, Joseph Adu Kyei was also cited by the OSP for issuing what it described as an unlawful customs advance ruling.

This, according to the report, reduced the benchmark values of the goods imported by Labianca Limited translating to reduced tax obligations of the company to the state.

Speaking at the Customs Division Management Retreat at Kumasi on August 9, the Commissioner of Customs, Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) insisted the report was released with malicious intent.

Col Damoah (Rtd) believes it was meant to discredit the Customs officers adding that the OSP “is trying to indict the deputy and myself.”

But the Commissioner General of GRA, Rev Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah does not want any of Col. Damoah’s comments associated with the outfit’s official position.

“The Authority would like to state for the record that it accords the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) the respect and the dignity that the OSP carries,” he said in a press release on Sunday night.

Per his assessment, the comments by the Commissioner of Customs “were made in his personal capacity and do not convey the opinion of the Board and Management of GRA.”

The statement further pledged to GRA’s readiness to assess the OSP’s report and develop measures to seal loopholes that are found to be impeding revenue mobilisation at the ports.

“GRA continually looks for every opportunity to improve on revenue as well as block any leakage,” he added.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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