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Stop Extorting Money From Importers – GUTA Cautions CEPS, Police

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The Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA has expressed dissatisfaction over the practice of extorting monies from importers by members of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Police.

The General Secretary of the Greater Accra Regional branch of GUTA, Nana Poku, in an exclusive interview with The New Publisher, said the police, for instance, always look out for funny excuses to extort money from traders on the highways, saying it is negatively affecting businesses of importers.

According to him, some CEPS officials and Task Force members also do the same, especially at security checkpoints on the highways.

”What we are urging Ghana Customs to stop re-examination and re-encountering containers that have been examined already from the Ports and given clearance, since there is no way the officers at the port would not do due diligence before allowing containers to go out.

The situation, he indicated, is also collapsing the businesses of traders, adding that traders are made to pay between GH¢100 and GH¢200 at each security checkpoint.

”Just last week, the Preventive division of Customs in Kumasi mounted barrier to extort money from importers who had cleared their goods from Tema port.

“This practice doesn’t build a nation. It rather collapses the nation. One of their basic reasons is that, such goods are under-valued. I mean how? Before a container comes out, it goes through various valuations, so such excuses for the extortion of cash is totally needless and doesn’t reflect common sense.’’ he stressed.

Mr. Poku disclosed that members of his association, who used their energy and resources to help the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to win power, are regretting bitterly.

”The association is by this sounding a final notice to President Nana Akufo-Addo, whom we collectively helped to win political power in 2016. If the Security agencies do not stop harassing us, we will advise ourselves when they come around.

”Under our own government, we are being harassed by security agencies, pushing us out of business. We are by this serving a final notice to government to stop harassing us, else we will spit fire on them”, he warned. 

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