Former Commissioner of the Customs Division at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Col(Rtd) Kwadwo Damoah togther with the former Deputy Commissioner of the Division, Joseph Adu Kyei have dragged Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to court because of the Labianca report.
The two who have been relieved of their posts by government, want the court to dismiss the report on Labianca, a frozen fish company belonging to a Council of State member.
Col. Damoah has been in loggerheads with the OSP after the report implicating him and Labianca Company.
He has accused the OSP of attempting to bring him down with the report and destroy his reputation.
The hullabaloo all began after the OSP implicated the two GRA top guns for undervalued clearance of cargo from the port.
OSP subsequently said it recovered GHC1,074, 627.15 from Labianca Foods in unpaid import duties.
But Col. Damoah described the report as ‘hollow and actuated by malice’ targeted at him when when speaking at a Senior Customs officers retreat held in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region on Wednesday August 10.
Following the statement by the former GRA boss, the OSP then called for wider investigations into Customs Division of the GRA and demanded for a copy of Integrity plans to prevent corruption.
The OSP further expanded its investigation tentacles to alleged corruption and corruption related offences in the context of evasion and valuation of duties on frozen and processed food products imported into Ghana between 2017-2021.
The case, according to the OSP involved some high-ranking officials of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
In its report on the investigations, the OSP said “Labianca Company Limited commenced operations in 2014 and it is wholly owned and controlled by Ms. Asomah-Hinneh on all practical and legal considerations. The company, it appears, imports about two hundred (200) forty (40) footer shipping containers of frozen chicken parts, fish, pork and fries monthly primarily from Europe and the United States of America. It enjoys a substantial market share in the imported frozen foods industry.
“There was not much engagement with the Customs Division in the first three (3) years of the company’s operations beyond the settlement of standard customs duty and other tax obligations until 2017 when the company actively commenced applications to the Customs Division for the acceptance by the latter of the values of frozen foods it intended to import.
“By the time the company commenced the applications, Ms. Asomah-Hinneh had been elected a member of the Council of State representing the Western Region and appointed a member of the governing board of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority – positions she held at all material times. On this reckoning, Ms. Asomah-Hinneh is a politically exposed person as defined under section 79 of Act 959.”
However, Col Damoah has expressed his readiness for prosecution and believed he would come out of it as innocent, saying that “I am ready for any prosecution and I know I will come out of it.”
He noted that “Three days ago a report purported to be coming from the Office of the Special Prosecutor trying to indict the Deputy Commissioner of Operations and myself [but] anybody who has read that report very well will know the basis of that.”
He added that “And luckily for me, God is always on my side, before that report came that person had made a comment to some people who had come to tell me [that] he [Special Prosecutor] was going to publish that will discredit me…and I sent people to go and tell him that he is a small boy and I am older than him, I have lived a meaningful life and if he attempts to destroy me it won’t be easy for him. People have tried and I have survived and this one too I will survive it.”
Credit: Daily Guide