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Eight Customs officers in cocoa smuggling deal arrested

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Eight officials of Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) identified in a highly publicized video documentary on cocoa smuggling, have been arrested for criminal prosecution.

The video documentary, which also showed other security operatives in the smuggling deal, was produced by a team of local investigative journalists.

A statement signed Mr Richard E.K. Lanyon, the CEPS Commissioner, said the Service had also ordered the immediate transfer of all personnel at the affected stations.

It said new officers whose backgrounds have been checked had replaced the transferred officers.

The eight officers were Gabriel Dimado, Collection Assistant Grade 1, Paul Dzamesi, Junior Collection Assistant Grade 3, Steven S. Quaye Junior Collection Assistant Grade 3, Adolf Armah, Junior Collection Assistant Grade 3; Prosper Edze, Junior Collection Assistant, William F. Yawson, Collection Assistant Grade 2, Eric R. Apeadu, Junior Collection Grade 3; and James Dzamesi, Junior Collection Grade 3.

Explaining the processed that were followed before the decision was taken, the statement said, the Service acquired a copy of the footage and reviewed it to identify the areas where the smuggling took place.

It added that the Sector Commanders of CEPS were invited to identify the officers, who were interrogated and statements taken by the Internal Affairs and Intelligence Unit.

The statement indicated that a preliminary report by the Unit established a case against the eight officers and queries were issued to them and after a careful study of their responses they were interdicted.

It said, meanwhile a more robust management assurance system had been put in place by which management and other senior Customs personnel in the region and beyond would pay unannounced visits to field officers on duty to monitor their conducts and performances.

Besides, it said the Unit would intensify surveillance on field officers at critical Customs operational areas in the Western Region and other parts of the country.

Source: GNA

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