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General News Fri, 30 Nov 2001

GIFF reacts to fake invoice allegations.

The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) said on Thursday that allegations that between 90 and 95 per cent of invoices presented by importers for Final Classification and Valuation Reports (FCVR) were fake were false and malicious.

It said the allegations, which sought to create the impression that freight forwarders were in league with importers and the Gateway Services Limited (GSL) to dupe the nation should be discarded since the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) had even exceed its revenue target for the year by over 50 per cent.

Mr Kofi Brako, Immediate Past President of GIFF was reacting to allegations by Mr George Adum-Kwapong, Chairman of the CEPS Senior Staff Association, that the fake invoices and low values issued by GSL was resulting in a major revenue leakage.

Mr Adum-Kwapong was reported to have said that the situation had arisen because CEPS' core function of import Valuations, Classification and Examination of goods had been surrendered on a silver platter to GSL and the Ghana Standard Veritas Bureau (GSUB).

Mr Brako, speaking in an interview with newsmen said, statistics available to GIFF indicated that, even though, the volume of imports had decreased over a period of time and coupled with the stabilisation of the cedi in relation to major currencies CEPS, was able to exceed its revenue target.

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"He said if the invoices were fake as is being claimed by Mr Adum-Kwapong, how then did CEPS exceed its target and called on CEPS officials to investigate issues critically before going public to embarrass the Service.

Mr Brako said the new system of valuation talks about transaction value, which presupposed that the invoices submitted by importers were the values that must be accepted.

If CEPS, however, thought that those values must not be accepted, it had to explain to the importers as to why, saying that Mr Adum-Kwapong, who is also Chairman of the Customs Special Operations Unit (SOU) did not seem to know much about the Destination Inspection Scheme (DIS).

Mr Brako said Mr Adum-Kwapong's view about the Transaction Price Data was also hollow, explaining that, all GSL did was to submit the value it had been able to accumulate over a period to the CEPS Chief Collector Out-Door (CCOD) for comparison with those issued by GSL to correct anomalies.

He said to the freight forwarders, the GSL might not be 100 per cent correct, but the services it was offering in terms of valuation was good, adding, the only problem was that GSL sometimes delayed in the issuance of FCVRs.

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He reminded the public that most GSL employees were Customs officers on secondment and it was improper for other Customs officers to classify themselves as superiors, who know better than their colleagues at GSL. - africast/GNA

Mr Gidisu said the promise by the NPP government for a positive change had become elusive and a total despair for Ghanaians because the government had no set goals to achieve.

Captain Emmanuel Vodi (Rtd), who chaired the function urged members and sympathisers of the party to close their ranks and work hard for the success of the NDC in the 2004 elections.

Other executive members elected were Mr Love Joy Dusi, Vice Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Obiri Auyane, Secretary, Mr Asare Akoto, Deputy Secretary, Mr Jonathan Ayamdo, Organiser.

The rest are Mr Gershon Tortimer, Propaganda Secretary, Miss Grace Baiden, Women's Organiser, Miss Orielia Korsorku, Deputy Women's Organiser, Mr Zakaria Issak, Treasurer, Mr Kwame Cephias, Deputy Treasurer, Mr Vincent Fostu, Youth Organiser and MR Yehuza Moro, Deputy Youth Organiser.

Source: GNA