13 February 2013

Ghana: Goods Vanish Under CEPS Control

Tema — Staff of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had a rude shock yesterday, when they went to the Tema Heavy Industrial area to inspect the controversial 31 containers of scrap metal which were seized a couple of months ago.

Following strong protests from operators in the steel industry in Ghana that they were finding it very difficult to get raw material to feed their plants, the government decided to impose a ban on the export of scrap metal, with the hope that enough raw material would be made available for the steel melting companies.

Two companies, whose names are being withheld, reportedly defied the ban and made the attempt to export 31 containers containing scrap metal to Europe.

The Custom Division of the GRA was hinted about the nocturnal activities of the exporting companies, and moved in to seize the scrap metals, and also put their seals on them, awaiting directives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry to dispose of the materials.

The ministry recently gave the order that the scraps should be auctioned. Custom officers subsequently went to the Tema Industrial area yesterday to auction the metals, but to their chagrin, there was no single metal in the 31 containers that were sized, even though the seals, which the revenue collecting agency put on the containers, were intact.

An official source contacted at Customs confirmed the story, but said the officers who went to inspect the containers and auction them were yet to submit their official report to the management.

The source further told The Chronicle that if the report submitted by the field officers confirmed that the metals had been removed from the containers under mysterious circumstances, they would be left with no option than to conduct thorough investigations into the issue.

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