Crime & Punishment Wed, 9 Jan 2019
Three persons were on Thursday put before an Accra Circuit Court on charges of conspiracy to commit crime and tax evasion at the Tema Port.The three are Doris Asamoah, an importer, Stephen Nyarko and Rita Asiama Numo- both Clearing Agents.
The three were alleged to have conspired to evade tax to the tune of GH?84,939.35 due the state.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges in the court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh and were granted bail.
Doris was granted bail in the sum of GH?170,000.00 with two sureties, while Stephen and Rita were granted bail in the sum of GH?90,000.00 each with two sureties each.
The court also ordered the prosecution to initiate the process to file witness statements and serve lawyers of the accused as well.
The case has been adjourned to January 23 this year.
The prosecutor, Superintendent Emelia Asante, told the court that the complainant in the case is the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
She said in January 2018, a 40-footer container with goods belonging to Doris arrived at the Tema Port for it to be cleared.
She said the container was supposed to have been moved from terminal TCT to Terminal BMT where the documents and duties would have been processed and paid for by Doris.
The prosecution said Stephen, with the connivance of two others, namely Darlington Kotey and Nana, now at large, fraudulently moved the container from the TCT terminal but did not transfer same to the BMT terminal as the case should have been.
The prosecution said they rather smuggled the container out of the Tema Port to James Town through a driver of Doris.
She said Doris received the goods without any documents covering them and quickly gave them to her customers.
The prosecution alleged that Doris, who has been in the import business for a long time, gave Rita an amount of GH?55,000.00 to be used in clearing the goods.
Superintendent Asante said Rita admitted having received the said money from Doris but alleged that she also gave it out to Darlington for him to clear the goods since she (Rita) was specialized mainly in the clearing of cars.
She said Stephen, who works with BMT terminal at the port as a clearing agent, used his identity card to facilitate the release of the container from TCT to BMT Terminal.