Mr. John Awuni, Corporate Affairs Director of Finatrade Group of Companies, a leading rice importer on Thursday lauded the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for recently slapping 200 per cent tax penalty on rice smugglers.
“We at Finatrade group of companies are happy for your vigilance in arresting the rice smugglers. We are equally happy that you are imposing 200 per cent tax penalty on them and hope that after paying the penalties, they will also be prosecuted according to the criminal laws of the land.”
Mr. Awuni who stated this in a press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), denounced the activities of rice smugglers, particularly in the western corridor of the country.
He said their smuggling activities were not only denying the government the necessary revenue, but was also impeding the work of genuine rice business in the country as a result of the undue advantage they had gained through smuggling.
“Their mode of operation by burying the rice in heaps of onion and other commodities is wicked and criminal and we think that their punishment should not end at the payment of penalties. They should be made to face the criminal laws of Ghana to serve as a deterrent to others.”
Mr Awuni also appealed to the GRA to ensure that all imported rice passed through the Ports and Harbours to stem the perennial smuggling of the commodity through Elubo and other major border points by road.
“We will continue to monitor this case until it reaches its logical conclusion and therefore appeal to GRA to apply all relevant laws that would end smuggling of rice into the country,” he concluded.