The Anti-Revenue Leakages Special Monitoring Team of Ghana Revenue Authority has called on Ministry of the Interior to carry out independent investigation into an alleged rice smuggling syndicate involving police personnel in the Western Region.
Mr Thomas Mills, Leader of the team, said some police personnel were found smuggling 50 bags of rice at the 32 check point in the Region.
He told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra that the goods were intercepted in a police vehicle with registration number GP 2536 from Elubo entering Takoradi on May 17 around 1930 hours.
Mr Mills said since the incident the team was yet to hear of any punitive action taken against the culprits, adding: “We find it totally unacceptable that the security men who are paid to protect the security of the state would rather turn to engage in smuggling with a service vehicle.”
He said such acts put the security of the state under threat and deprive the government of the much needed revenue to undertake social and infrastructural development.
“The team wish therefore to know the appropriate measures that have been taken against the culprits,” he said.
Mr Mills said the illegal importation of rice was from Cote d’Ivoire through the western borders spanning Axim- Elubo and Sampa.
He said the act was undermining the country’s rice industry and called for the prosecution of the culprits to serve as example to other socio-economic saboteurs.
Mr Mills cautioned the importers involved in the criminal act to put an end to it.
“The team is collaborating with other security agencies to clampdown on the culprits. The drivers of the haulage trucks caught involved in the smuggling activities would be arrested and prosecuted while the goods they are transporting would be impounded.
“Landlords or landladies who use their homes to store smuggled goods do so at their own risk, while anyone who gives information leading to the arrest of the smugglers would be rewarded,” he said.
The Special Monitoring Team is a body under the Ghana Revenue Authority.