About 25 smuggled automobiles have been impounded by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, since January this year.
The impounded automobiles were with tempered vehicle identification numbers, fake documentations among others.
Most of the vehicles are luxurious, and some with which the user/owner was ignorant of the fake documentations.
Sector Commander of the Takoradi Customs Division, Francis Tanlongo, in an exclusive interview with our reporter, Simon Ahensah, cautioned prospective buyers of automobiles to be careful of such vehicles.
“When we do our routine checks and realise that you’ve not paid your duties, first we impound it… politely ask you to produce the documents, failing to do that then we invite you to our office with the vehicle and then we detain it, pending production of valid custom documents. You are given about 30 days within which you are to produce the document. After the 30 days and you do not- we convert it into seizure,” he elaborated the process.
Albeit he added that defaulted users of the impounded vehicles do have an opportunity to reclaim, given that they initiate and satisfy all requirements of the customs division.
Mr Tanlongo, however, clarified that the intention of the agency was not to deny persons of their properties but to sanction processes and actions stipulated by law, such that the country was not shortchanged. He said that anyone that commits such crimes was liable for sanctions spelt out in Section 121 (penalties) of the Customs Act 2015 (ACT 891).
“The penalty is to encourage people to come out voluntary so that instead of us chasing you, you should rather come forward to correct it,” Mr Tanlongo said.
Story: From Simon AHENSAH, TAKORADI, WESTERN REGION