The Northern Sector Command of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has destroyed over 500 sleeves of foreign unregistered cigarettes valued at GHC10,000.00 at Atonsu waste dumping site, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
According to the Northern Sector Commander of the Division, A/C Kwasi Ahiapoh, the smuggled cigarettes were seized from smugglers in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions for failure to pay high duty enclosure.
Ultimate news’ Isaac Justice Bediako reports that the confiscated cigarettes were all destroyed by an excavator.
A/C Kwasi Ahiapoh described the actions of the smugglers as threat to Ghana revenue collection agencies.
‘You are not supposed to bring in cigarettes but if you do, you must be licensed like the BAT group, Cigarettes in customs we it high duty enclosure, we derive very high taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, textiles and all that, … the laws permit us, outright seizure, when you smuggle it in, it means you are taking the market of BAT, you have taken a chunk of its share of the market, you have taken my license of revenue or tax away.
We have to bury the very last stick to send a signal to smugglers that these things are not allowed, it hurts the economy of Ghana, most of them don’t even have the health warnings,’ he explained.