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Business News of Monday, 16 July 2018

Source: classfmonline.com

Probe BOST - Occupy Ghana petitions Chief of staff

Pressure group, OccupyGhana (OG), has petitioned Chief of Staff Frema Opare, to investigate circumstances that led to the alleged smuggling of petroleum products, re-exporting, premix dumping, unlawful profiteering, tax evasion and financial reporting inconsistencies at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited.

A statement signed by Kwaku Segbefia on Monday, 16 July, said: “OccupyGhana® has received and studied the 2017 industry report of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD). The report, which we believe has been submitted to the Offices of the President and Vice-President as well as Parliament alleges over a dozen infractions and breaches of the law by, and indicts unnamed officials of National Security, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Office of the President.

“We note with concern the alleged revenue losses amounting to GHS 1.4 billion in the loss of over 800-thousand metric tonnes of subsidised fuel. If true, this is completely unacceptable. Also worrying is the allegation that about GHS 5.2 million was lost to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) from diversions of 230 illegitimately subsidised premix trucks.”

The statement added: “The CBOD alleges losses due to increased smuggling activities along our coasts, under-invoicing, illegal tax and regulatory margins, ESLA under-reporting, Special Petroleum Tax (SPT) transfer pricing, deliberate inefficiencies and illegalities at BOST, unlawful profiteering, tax evasion and export dumping. But what we find even more troubling is the claim that these are happening with the connivance and complicity of officials in the Office of the President, in National Security, and in GRA.

“In the interest of the principles of probity, accountability and transparency, we write to request that full scale criminal and highly forensic investigations are conducted into the alleged findings in the CBOD Report. If any persons are found to have engaged in these acts we would urge the prosecution of all criminally culpable elements within the petroleum value chain to the full extent permissible by law, no matter who these culpable elements may be.”

The statement was also copied to the office of the Vice-President, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), The Speaker of Parliament and the Ministry of Energy.