The Managing Director of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), George Abradu-Otu, has said the country loses a lot of revenue to gold smuggling.
Mr Abradu-Otu said many gold dealers have developed ways to bypass laid down procedures in selling gold outside Ghana in order to evade taxes.
He made these comments on Accra100.5fm’s morning show, Ghana Yensom, Tuesday February 23. According to him, Ghana has been losing an average of $1.925 million from the smuggling of gold to India for the past few years.
The PMMC’s concerns follow a recent impoundment by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), of 12 boxes which contained gold bullion weighing about 480kg at the Kotoka International Airport. The bullion was valued at US$18million.
It belonged to two Indian firms and three Ghanaian companies, and was abound for Asia and the Middle East – particularly India and Dubai.
The PMMC official said most of the gold from Ghana ends up in India, where the precious mineral is an essential part of Indian culture.
Mr Abradu-Otu debunked assertions that the PMMC was not competitive, saying Ghanaian gold dealers were rather actively aiding foreigners trading in gold from registering with the Company to be licensed to do business in the country.
He said some customs and airport officials are often bribed so the smugglers get a leeway to take their gold outside the country without appropriate documentation.
He also said other foreign gold dealers who had been aided by the PMMC to export their gold, with the understanding that they would repatriate the revenue back into the country had failed to do so, leading to pressure on the local currency.
According to figures from the Bank of Ghana, in 2015 at total of $3.2 billion worth of gold was exported from Ghana by both large and small-scale miners.