THE SMUGGLING of gold from the country, deemed as a serious crime, is said to be on the ascendancy of late.
Some Ghanaians, Indians and Lebanese business people are said to be the main architects of the smuggling business which is making the country record huge revenue losses in gold export.
They are said to be circumventing laid down procedures to export gold and as a result, they are evading the payment of 3% taxes to the detriment of the state.
The business people reportedly own companies that have the requisite licence to export gold to the international market at a fee to support the economy but are refusing to pay the taxes.
Currently, a kilogram of gold is selling around $54,000 and the unscrupulous business people are shipping them out without any payment of taxes, after destroying the water bodies to get the precious mineral.
DAILY GUIDE check is showing that some security capos, who have been monitoring these “criminals”, identified Ghana’s eastern border, Togo, as the major route for gold smuggling.
According to sources, Togo authorities charge a per cent tax on each kilogram of gold exported from there and the smugglers are taking advantage of the low tax regime.
In this regard, in order for these certified gold exporters to make huge profit, they usually smuggle their gold to Togo, before transporting them to the international market.
The sources said the gold exporters were fabulously rich so they easily paid bribes to the security agencies at the country’s porous borders to have their way through.
Aside the porous borders, it has also emerged that these unpatriotic people often have their way at the airport where they induce officials with cash.
As a result of the illegal operations of these people, the country has been losing huge amounts of money, which can be used to undertake several developmental projects and also help to restore the destroyed environment.
The sources said the company names, address and other details of culprits in the gold smuggling syndicate were being compiled for the national security to take action.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi