Gold smuggling $18M worth of Gold bound for Asia seized

The gold bullion, contained in 12 boxes, weighed about 480 kilogrammes  ready for export to India and Dubai via Emirates Airlines when it was seized upon a tipoff.

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Custom Officials at the Kotoka International Airport last Wednesday seized $18 million worth of Gold bound for Asia without proper documentations.

The gold bullion, contained in 12 boxes, weighed about 480 kilogrammes  ready for export to India and Dubai via Emirates Airlines when it was seized upon a tip-off.

The seized gold bullion belonged to the following Licensed Gold Exporters (LGEs): BGC International, K. K. Enterprises (both Indian Companies); A.A. Minerals, Italtec Ghana Limited and Guldrest Resources (Ghanaian companies).

The activities of LGEs in exporting gold without any documentation was a daily occurrence at the airport, and the exporters avoided paying the appropriate taxes to the government, The Ghanaian Times quoted unnamed official at the Bureau National Investigations (BNI) as saying.

The BNI is said to have begun investigations into the matter.

Gold smuggling is said to be one of the reason that had contributed to the fall of the cedi against major currencies.

“Another reason is to avoid the repatriation of proceeds back into the country as required by law; monies which could help to relieve pressure on the cedi,” an official of the minerals trading arm of the state told the B&FT.

A report by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy has shown that Ghana received 1.7 billion USD in taxes alone, out of a total of $23 billion value of gold production in the period 2010 to 2013.

"In the last four years (2010-2013) Ghana’s average share of the total value of Ghana’s gold production was approximately 7 percent. While Ghana received 1.7 billion USD in taxes, the total value of Ghana’s gold production was exceeding 23 billion USD in the four-year period," according to the report titled ‘Golden Days for Newmont.’

Similarly, the report said, "in 2011 Ghana’s gold production valued 5.78 billion USD and made up 38 percent of total export earnings but Ghana only received 0.51 billion USD in tax and royalties constituting only 10 percent of the export value."

The World Gold Council  has emphasised that revenues from gold mining account for the lion share of Ghana’s total mineral revenues but comparing Ghana’s take of the total value of Ghana’s gold production, it appears to be under-taxed.

In a move to streamline gold export procedures, the Bank of Ghana last year directed that all gold exporters channel their export through the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC).

However, the gold exporters challenged the appointment of the PMMC in court as the certifier for gold exports.


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