The Labianca Company Limited has disagreed with the influence-peddling report issued by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) against its Chief Executive.
According to the company, the OSP’s comment against its CEO is untrue and should be ignored.
“We deny that the company and its CEO, Mrs Asomah-Hinneh, procured customs advance ruling through influence peddling or trading of influence,” it said in a press release issued on Wednesday, August 24.
Even though, the Company also said, the OSP has not written to it officially, it has instructed its lawyers to take up the case.
“We take the findings of the Office of the Special Prosecutor seriously and have consequently instructed our lawyers to take the necessary action on this matter.”
On August 8, 2022, the OSP published an investigative report which revealed that Labianca Group of Companies, a frozen foods company owned by a member of the Council of State, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, evaded import duties.
He recovered an amount of ¢1.074 million representing a shortfall in import duties paid to the state.
The report signed by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, alleged that the influence-peddling by Ms Asomah-Hinneh led to a reduction in the tax liabilities for her frozen foods company, Labianca Company Limited.
The OSP contended that Ms Asomah-Hinneh used her position as a member of the Council of State and member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to get a favourable decision from the Customs Division.
A Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Operations, Joseph Adu Kyei was also cited by the OSP for issuing what it described as an unlawful customs advance ruling.
This, according to the report, reduced the benchmark values of the goods imported by Labianca Limited translating to reduced tax obligations of the company to the state.
However, Speaking at the Customs Division Management Retreat at Kumasi, the Commissioner of Customs, Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) insists the report of the Special Prosecutor was released with malicious intent.
Col Damoah (Rtd) believes it was meant to discredit the Customs officers adding that the OSP “is trying to indict the deputy and myself.”
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