The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it has opened investigations into revelation that some customs officials take bribe to assist importers smuggle thousands of cooking oil from neighboring countries into Ghana.

JoyNews exposé, Smugglers Paradise uncovered how the officials are bribed to assist local and foreign importers to smuggle oil from neighboring Togo and Ivory Coast to markets in Ghana.

It is estimated that the state is losing 300 million cedis in revenue as the smugglers and dealers are bringing in 5,000 metric tonnes of cooking oil annually.

Senior Revenue Officer at the Customs Division of GRA, Benjamin Bekai noted that the Authority has initiated a probe into the revelation and will bring all officers found culpable to book.

 “We have the internal affairs department that is under the good governance department that is headed by the Deputy Commissioner and as we speak this matter is before them and they have begun investigations into it. We can assure you we have disciplinary measures in place and customs is one of the institutions that disciplines our officers more except that we do not come on air to say that we have interdicted so many officers,” he said on the Super Morning Show on Monday.

Meanwhile, the President of the Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana, Samuel Avaala has lamented the impact of the smuggling on the Ghanaian economy.

He stressed that the smuggling activity could lead to the loss of livelihoods for farmers in the oil palm local industry.

“People who would invest see that others are dodging duties and bringing the oil from other countries and then going through this unapproved route, they do not pay VAT, no duty and then they end up appearing to be cheaper than what we have produced locally. What will happen?

“The local industry when it suffers, employments and jobs, the livelihoods of hundreds of smallholder and out-grower farmers are all at stake. This is the magnitude of the effect of this on the economy, the value chain and in fact on the future of the country,” he lamented.

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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.