It has emerged that individuals arrested for illicitly attempting to export gold to the United Arab Emirates were involved in a fresh gold export Tuesday February 23, 2016.
This was revealed by Nana Kwaku Okyere, aide to the executive chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, Wednesday February 24, 2016 on Accra100.5fm’s morning show, Ghana Yensom.
The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Wednesday February 17, 2016 impounded 12 boxes containing gold bullion, weighing about 480kg, at the Kotoka International Airport. The bullion was valued at US$18million, and was being carted unto an Emirates aircraft to the Gulf when it was foiled.
Mr Okyere, however, said despite an ongoing probe by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) into the matter, two Indian-owned companies involved in the case were able to export gold from Ghana on Tuesday, but could not confirm if the exports were covered by genuine documentation.
He also revealed to host Chief Jerry Forson that those arrested for their part in the failed smuggling of the gold were not in the BNI’s detention but were rather lodging in plush hotels, while frantically trying to influence some government officials to have the seized gold returned to them.
According to Mr Okyere, the SEC was working closely with the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) and security agencies to monitor the trade in precious minerals to ensure the country was not cheated of revenue.
He said collusion between some Ghanaians in positions of trust and gold smugglers, was making it difficult to crack down on the smugglers, who are evading huge taxes. He said there were some corrupt officials at the Ghana Revenue Authority, Minerals Commission, and other bodies tasked with monitoring, who had gone contrary to their mandate and were aiding mainly Indians and Chinese to transport gold and other minerals from the country without proper documentation, and, in the process, evading tax.