Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Source: GNA

Aflao Customs intercepts trucks with scrap metals

Officials of Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at the border at Aflao has intercepted two trucks loaded with ferrous scrap metals allegedly being smuggled to Togo.

Kwame Collins Fakyewu, and Koumasi Kokou, drivers in charge of the container trucks: a Togolese-registered truck, with number TG 6710 AF and a Ghanaian one, GR 9900 S, are being interrogated.

Mr. Felix Mate-Kodjo, a Chief Collector and Second in Command of Aflao Sector, Customs Division of GRA, told the GNA that the Togolese registered truck, on arrival at the border at about 1400, hours parked among other trucks at a spot.

He said on suspicion, his men monitored it, and so around 1800 hours, when the driver moved the truck to stealthily join other trucks cleared to cross over to Togo, it was stopped and searched.

The officials, subsequently, found the goods on board.

Mr. Mate-Kodjo said the second truck also arrived at the border at about 2000 that day and was trailed, searched and its goods intercepted.

He said his outfit was recently prompted that scrap dealers were smuggling the items through unapproved routes to Togo.

Consequently, they were advised to step up their vigilance at the Akanu, Kpoglu and Havi border points.

“It appears the dealers thought officials at the main Aflao border could be outwitted due to the congestion as a result of on-going road and border facelift projects”, he said.

Mr. Mate-Kodjo said the drivers claimed they were hired by some dealers to load the scraps from Aflao and the dealers had crossed to Togo ahead of the trucks.

He stressed that the exportation of ferrous scrap metals had been banned by LI 2201 of 2013, following the near collapse of Ghanaian Steel Companies and the loss of related jobs due to shortage of scraps to feed their mills.

Mr. Mate-Kodjo said the GRA Customs Division would keep the metals and the trucks pending the outcome of investigations.