The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has intercepted a significant cache of illicit tobacco products, valued at GHS7,951,238.39 that were unlawfully routed through unapproved border channels, which has prompted a resolute response from the GRA to maintain the nation’s regulatory standards.
This was contained in an official statement issued by the GRA on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, which revealed that the street value of the seized products is pegged at GHS7,951,238.39.
According to GRA, none of the confiscated brands met the standard requirements mandated by Ghanaian laws, lacking crucial elements such as graphic health warnings, the mandatory “For Sale in Ghana” inscription, and Ghana Tax Stamps.
‘’The illicit tobacco brands apprehended, including Oris Double Apple, Business Royals, Gold Seal, Bon, Yes, and Business Kings, underscore the GRA’s commitment to staunchly combat the smuggling, importation, and sale of unauthorized tobacco products infiltrating Ghanaian markets’’ the statement added.
‘’All the confiscated products were illicitly introduced into Ghanaian territory, in direct contravention of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851), and the Tobacco Control Regulations (TCR), 2016 (L.I. 2247)’’ the statement added.
Meanwhile, ongoing investigations, as declared by the GRA, aim to identify and apprehend individuals accountable for this illicit trade
.The Authority pledged close collaboration with relevant government agencies to ensure the swift arrest, prosecution, and imposition of appropriate sanctions on those involved.
In adherence to established protocols, all seized products will be subject to destruction as part of the legal process.
However, the GRA thus urged the public to report any information about warehouses or illicit storage locations used for hoarding unauthorized tobacco products.
-BY Daniel Bampoe