Daylight thievery and plundering of the state through non-payment of duties at the nation’s gateway port, Tema Port, have become super-abnormal.
Top-class business people connected to some powerful forces in government are deeply involved in the wanton stealing at the port.
What is making the whole situation nasty is the fact that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) that often takes the flak for revenue shortfalls is helpless about the situation, as there is victimization of officers who stand in the way of the thieving politicians/business people.
The stealing has become hi-tech because sophisticated ways have been developed to outwit measures put in place by the GRA to stop the state plundering.
Lead characters among these nation-wrecking politician/business people are using are some New Patriotic Party (NPP) people who are now National Security operatives.
The paperless agenda by Vice President Dr. MahamuduBawumiato check pilfering and reduce the hours of doing business at the port has been rendered useless by persons within his party and government.
Transfer of containers, especially confiscated ones, from the port to state warehouses are now the new way of stealing at the port.
Some business people deliberately engage in practices that will compel the Customs to confiscate their containers, but which later they use dubious means to retrieve them without paying a dime to the state.
The cheating system is manipulated such that transfer letters on confiscated containers are issued to clearing agents who usually succeed in diverting containers.
The Inquisitor is reliably informed about the manner containers being transferred from the Golden Jubilee Terminal to Atlas were diverted because certain agents were given transfer letters, something that is not part of the laid-down procedure.
The paper’s flawless sources within the Tema Port have it that there have been several confrontations between some Customs officials and National Security officers, over how containers are cleared free from the Tema Port.
Hitherto, the politician/business people were using the protocol system of tags to clear their goods without paying the requisite taxes.
The use of Green Tags became very common at the port until things were streamlined in the early part of the year.
After that window was shut, the state plunderers have resorted to new tricks and are still milking the state dry, with the Customs Division and other relevant state institutions looking on helplessly because of the fear of victimization.
Quite recently, staff of the GRA, at a fully-charged durbar, accused some politicians of not helping the tax collection outfit to rake in the much-needed revenue for the state.
The GRA staff, who freed their minds at that durbar,were emphatic that politicians/business people close to the corridors of power were the ones fleecing the state at the Tema Port.