Two persons have been arrested and handed over to the Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service for allegedly falsifying GPHA revenue documents to inflate port clearance charges.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) gathered that the two Paul Amesu Regatta, a clearing agent and David Kamassah, an internet café operator, were apprehended after they allegedly increased GPHA port charges from GH¢1,749.11 to GH¢4,491.59
Regatta is said to have inflated the cost in order to make a profit of GH¢2,642.48 with the assistance of Kamassah.
He did not present the actual invoice to the importer who engaged him to clear his goods at the port.
Colonel Joseph Punamane, Head of Tema Port Security, who handed over the two to the Police, indicated that the importer, who was not happy about the high charges, sought clarification from the GPHA revenue centre when he discovered that the document his agent had presented to him was fake with inflated figures.
Colonel Punamane described the act as dangerous, adding that such persons create the impression that port charges are very high “so we found it imperative to deal with them by handing them over to the police.”
Meanwhile, Esther Gyebi-Donkor, General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, GPHA, has urged importers, who do not trust documents presented to them by their agents to seek the necessary clarification from GPHA.
Mrs Gyebi-Donkor said that “our importers have the freedom to come to the port. We have the rule that allows the clearing and forwarding agent to come to the port with two representatives of the importer. They need to get involved if this is an identified problem.”
“Importers can always be part of the process of assessing the invoice to confirm whether it is genuine or not, it very important that they cross-check the figures.”
She added that importers could go with the clearing agent to pay the money at the bank, adding that GPHA service charges could be paid at any branch of Ecobank or adb.
“We are encouraging importers to get more involved so that we don’t end up having these negative people making importers suffer losses and making our ports expensive,” she stated.