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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 8 May 2015

Source: GNA

Imported rice by Indians due to expire

A prosecution witness in the case involving two Indian businessmen and a revenue officer, said the imported bags of rice in the matter were released without appropriate payment because the officer claimed they were due to expire.

Mr Apana Adadzina, Chief Collecting Officer of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, said when Kate Kai-Kotey Laryea, the Revenue Officer was queried, she said “l released the bags of rice for them to pay back later”.

Mentouf Khan, the importer and Kate Kai-Kotey Laryea were in court for various offences.

The prosecution witness told the court that when the information got to his attention, he raised a demand notice to the accused persons to pay within 30-days.

“Out of an amount of GH? 526,000.00, they only paid GH? 50,000.00 and since then all efforts to retrieve the rest has proved futile,” he said

Mr Adadzina said initially, the accused persons were not in agreement with the 30-days saying it was too short a time and brought their own terms of payment but this was rejected.

Mentouf was said to have removed 30,074 bags of rice from a customs bonded warehouse, without payment of the appropriate duties and corrupted a public officer in respect of her duties by paying her an amount of GH¢500.00 to influence her conduct.

Kate was also said to have abetted Mentouf and one other, Murtaza Khan to take un-entered goods from a customs bonded warehouse, falsified customs bonded warehouse register and collected various sums of monies from Mentouf.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charges, before the court presided over by Mr Francis Obiri.

Mentouf was granted bail in the sum of GH¢750,000.00 with three sureties, one to be justified, and one to be a public servant with a net salary of GH¢1,500.00.

Kate was also granted bail in the sum of GH¢20,000.00 with three sureties, one to be justified.

The case was adjourned to May 8.