Customs Officers Defends Col. Damoah

The Customs Staff Association (CSA) has rubbished the investigation report released by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) on Labianca Group Limited, a frozen food company in Tema in the Greater Accra.

According to the Association, the investigation conducted by the OSP is “misconceived and is borne out of the misconception.”

In a statement released on Saturday August 12, 2022, the CSA said “There’s therefore nothing wrong with the approvals made by the Commissioner since such approvals accord with the Customs Laws and established procedures in force.”

It continued that the Benchmark Values used by the OSP as a method of valuation rather than a risk management tool are inconsistent with the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Rules on Customs Valuation and Section 67 of the Customs Act.

Consequently, it deems the findings of the OSP as “technically flawed” without any basis.

They have therefore strongly defended the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, over the Division’s position on the corruption-related offence established by the OSP.

According to them, calls for the removal of Colonel Kwadwo Damoah and Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah as Commissioner-General of the GRA are unjustifiable.

The statement noted “That, the Management of the Customs Division and the Leadership of the Customs Staff Association (CSA) have resolved to throw our unflinching support behind Col. Damoah (Rtd) to continue as the Commissioner, especially in these difficult periods when the country is in dire need of revenue.”

Prior to this statement, Colonel Damoah, has described calls for sanctions against him over the report implicating his office in corruption-related acts as unfounded.

The Commissioner said those calling for him to be sanctioned need to first understand the work of the customs, adding that he is ever-willing to avail himself under the laws of the country if he breached any processes or is caught in any corruption-related matter.

“We are clear that we acted within the confines of the law. The Legislative Instrument spells out what we should do. Nowhere in the publication has any fact been established against me that I am corrupt. I did nothing wrong. The company took advantage of an express provision in the law,” Col. Damoah said.

The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyabeng implicated the office of the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in corruption-related acts involving Labianca Company Limited.

OSP indicated that it has recovered GH¢1.074 million from the Company owned by a Council of State member, Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh.

It mentioned that Madam Eunice used her influence to get a favourable decision from the Customs Division.

The money was recovered as a shortfall of revenue arising from the issuance of the unlawful customs advance, meant to be duties paid to the state following the importation of the frozen foods.

By Vincent Kubi