The Labianca Company Limited has threatened to take legal action against the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for issuing an influence-peddling report against it.

The Company said it has not been involved in any corruption-related activities. 

In a statement issued on Wednesday, August 24, it said it has always acted in accordance with due process when applying for customs advance rulings.

‘Our lawyers will take necessary action’ - Labianca responds to OSP’s report

As a result, it has ordered its lawyers to proceed to court on the matter.

“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.”

The Company has also rejected OSP’s allegations against its CEO. 

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.”

Background 

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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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.