Sixty-six shops belonging to foreigners have been identified to be operating illegally in the Central Business District of Koforidua.

They have, therefore, been cautioned by the Technical Sub-Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to regularize their trading activities to avert the closure of their shops.

This came to light, when the Technical Sub-Committee, undertook a two-day exercise within the business hub in Koforidua.

While some of the foreigners had no resident or working permit, some had not registered their businesses and therefore had no Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) and others still were found to be using documents of Ghanaian traders in transacting their businesses.

Briefing the media after the exercise, Secretary of the Committee, Mr Maxwell Apenkro, indicated that all the owners of the 66 shops had been given between 3-14 days to rectify the anomalies or risk the closure of their shops.

He said the team made up of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) among others realised that most of the foreigners owning shops in that district did not have required documentation to operate in the country.

Mr Apenkro explained the businesses identified without TINs was proof that they were not paying their taxes on their businesses.

He assured that the committee would ensure that the businesses regularized their immigration and business documentation within the given time frame.

He said per the laws of Ghana, foreigners were not supposed to register as sole proprietors but as limited by shares. In addition, they are also required to pay corporate taxes and not tax stamps to ensure they paid the right taxes to the state.

Mr Apenkro disclosed that the Committee also identified some cases where the shops were owned by Ghanaians but had employed foreign workers who had no documentary evidence legalising their employment status.

In this instance, the owners were to ensure they had resident as well as work permits to that effect.

He said the team would follow up after the given period to ascertain whether their compliance with the directives.

Failure to do so will leave the Committee no other option than to “lock up their shops”.