Despite Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Tema harbour exposé which showed us the immeasurable corruption that comfortably exists at our harbours, the corruption, fraud and forgery at our harbours live on—causing Ghana to lose millions of dollars in revenue capable of elevating our struggling economy.
After a painstaking investigation by a group of freelance journalists based in Ghana, we’ve obtained shocking documents which clearly capture fraudulent goods clearing activities of certain large companies in Ghana between 2009 and 2012.
For these years, the companies (names withheld) cleared several goods freely and occasionally paid as little as peanuts by forging tax exemption letters and the signature of the deputy chief commissioner of the Trade Ministry.
By these activities, the companies have evaded taxes running into millions of Ghana Cedis due the state.
Beyond the criminal offence of tax evasion, it’s amazing how these companies were able to connive with port authorities who we believe deliberately failed to properly cross check presented exemption letters during goods clearing.
What is even more shocking is how some of the companies upon getting wind of the humiliation that is about to befall them when the cat is finally let out of the bag are frantically paying huge sums of money to backdate documents at the Ministry to prove their innocence.
Unfortunately for them, every original exemption letter issued between the said periods has been well documented.
It does not come as a surprise that not too long ago Ghana was adjudged the second most ‘perceived’ corrupt country in Africa—especially if companies can easily forge the signature of a public officer-the deputy chief commissioner of the Trade Ministry on countless exemption letters for the purpose of clearing goods.
Over the years, various ports of Ghana have become perfect grounds where corruption breeds—with several port officials having been caught conniving with importers to rob the state of deserving revenue, through the manipulation of the value of imported goods.
This time, what our investigation has unearthed goes beyond the widespread manipulation of the value of imported goods at our ports: well-known companies have knowingly and consistently forged government documents and signatures which they’ve used to evade taxes running into millions on the blind side of the state.
All the obtained documents and names of the companies involved in the fraud and forgery will soon be released for public assessment—once our legal team has advised.