Labianca case: GRA dissociates itself from Col Damoah's comments against Special Prosecutor

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has dissociated itself from comments made by the Commissioner of the Customs Division, Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd.) at the Customs Management Retreat on the outcomes of the Office of Special Prosecutor's investigation into alleged corruption-related offenses involving Labianca Group of companies and the Customs Division of the GRA.

Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner–General of the Ghana Revenue Authority

Earlier, the Customs Division of the GRA cast doubt on the Office of the Special Prosecutor's claims of corruption against some of its officials in the case of Labianca Company.

The Special Prosecutor recovered an amount of GH¢1.074 million from the company owned by a member of the Council of State, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh.

The Special Prosecutor stated that Ms. Asomah-Hinneh used her position as a member of the Council and member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to get a favourable decision from the Customs Division of GRA.

But 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.

Col. Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd) speaking at the Customs Division Management Retreat at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region said the report of the Special Prosecutor was released with malicious intent.

He said the report was meant to discredit the Customs officers adding that the OSP "is trying to indict the deputy and myself.

"And anyone of you who has read that report, very well, will know the basis of that."

He described the Special Prosecutor as "incompetent" and a "small boy" who is trying to tarnish his hard-won reputation.

However, the GRA in responding to Colonel Damoah said his comments were made in his capacity and do not convey the opinion of the Board and Management of GRA.

In a statement, it said the GRA assured the "general public that prior to the release of the OSP's report, it had taken steps to streamline and improve on the processes of accurately determining values of imported items and products."

"GRA uses this opportunity to assure all stakeholders of GRA and the general public that GRA has taken steps to ensure that all allegations of impropriety on the part of any of its staff are promptly and decisively investigated and that all cases of tax evasion or other acts that are contrary to the Laws governing the Authority will be dealt with," it added.

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