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General News Tue, 1 Jun 2010

GCNET Busted

... how its transit tracking system is porous

...10 transit buses bound for Mali hidden in Tema

...body works in progress to evade tax

... $850,000 revenue lost to the state

By Aaron Okyere

Hardcore evidence that GCNet is not only unable to do valuation and classification

of imports but also is unable to use its tracking system to successfully track down

transit goods has been uncovered by the intelligence unit of the Daily Post!

Ten long buses imported through the Tema port and bound for Mali (transit vehicles)

for which reason no duty was paid have been found hidden at a garage in Community 9,

Tema.

The big deal in this criminal activity which has cost the state almost $1,000,000 in

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revenue is that the GCNet, through its tracking system, relayed to CEPS weeks ago

that the buses had crossed the border at Paga into Burkina Faso on Wednesday, May 5,

2010.

At the garage where Daily Post intelligence traced the buses to last Sunday, it was

clear that they were being re-sprayed to hide their original identities and give

them a new look before they are released into Ghana’s transport system.

This latest exposure is yet another example of how porous the various softwares

GCNet has for which reason the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Customs, Excise and

Preventive Service (CEPS) have kicked against their continuous roles in the various

aspects of the Destination Inspection System.

Over the years, thanks to GCNet’s porous software system, the state has lost

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trillions of cedis in revenue as Destination Inspection Companies (DICs), importers

and clearing agents all take advantage of it to dupe the state.

Yet, last Friday, senior officials of the GRA and CEPS received the mother of all

surprises when a release from the Presidency said GCNet has been given the nod to

deploy the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) software to do valuation and

classification of imports.

Hitherto, after listening to the GRA, CEPS, GCNet, DICs, Ministries of Finance and

Trade officials make various submissions on the best method to employ to increase

revenue at the ports, the President reportedly directed CEPS to deploy its newly

acquired software for the next three months.

Senior CEPS officials as well as the Minister of Finance trooped to the Castle the

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evening after stakeholders’ meeting to receive a signed document from the President

giving them authority to take the lead role in the Destination Inspection Scheme.

However, they were asked to go and return the following Monday but on that day too,

they were told by the President’s Secretary that the President was busy and could

not read and sign the letter.

In a very dramatic twist of events a few days later, the Presidency issued a press

statement through the Ministry of Information directing that GCNet take the lead

role instead in collaboration with the DICs. The statement also claimed that the

Presidency had never directed CEPS to take lead role with its new software. This

left GRA and CEPS officials bemused, wondering what was happening.

Thanks to GCNet’s porous system which some of President Mills’ men have tricked him

to approve, ten buses, whose duties would have earned the state about one million

dollars have gone with the wind.

Now, Ghanaian school children will continue learning under trees; some folks will

have to continue drinking water from the same source as pigs and nursing mothers

have to continue sleeping on hospital floors because the state earns little revenue

to provide social amenities for its people, thanks to companies like GCNet.

Meanwhile, the ten buses are still at the Tema Driving School garage under-going

re-spraying at the time of filing this report.

More Anon

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