The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has confiscated five vessels at the Tema Port in collaboration with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for docking without post-clearance audit.
The Chinese company Chinese Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), contracted by Meridian Port Services (MPS) and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to undertake the Tema Port Expansion, was said to be operating unapproved sufferance quay at the expansion project site.
12 vessels were said to have docked and discharged goods without the informing customs, BNI and National Security at the site until the transaction was discovered last week.
It is believed that some customs officials might have been compromised to hide information on the activities of the Chinese firm, including supposed smuggling of goods.
CHEC is said to have breached the post-clearance audit of the Customs Act 891, 2015, which demands audit to verify the accuracy and genuineness of declarations and covers the control of traders’ business systems, commercial data, books and records before the release of a vessel.
The company is said to have been stroked with 3,000 penalty units on each of the 5 vessels.
Each vessel is expected to pay an amount of GH¢36,000 – all totaling GH¢180,000 – revenue to the state aside duties.
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