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Accra : Four arrested for producing fake GIHOC distillery products

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

Four persons have been arrested including a 16year-old boy at Spintex in Accra for producing fake GIHOC distillery products in commercial quantities.

The Kpeshie divisional command made the arrest at their hideout on Thursday, November 7. The four include Anabi Butei, Issac Laryea, Anan Mensah and Lawrence Obiaman.

Three of the four are in police custody while the minor has been granted bail.

Addressing the media, the divisional commander ACP Francis Tsidi said some cartons at their hideout was labeled Castle Bridge and Herb Afrik.

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"We were able to identify the location and then made four arrests, and also found them in the process of producing some products which are fake and are products of GIHOC Ghana Limited, we were able to retrieve one hundred and twenty cartons of products labeled as Castle Bridge, Herb Afrik and Mandingo, we've seen some containers which are believed to contain some of the materials they use to produce the products. The scene of the production was very dehumanising to talk about...."

GRA taskforce seizes assorted drinks

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Taskforce also in August confiscated assorted beverage products without Excise Tax Stamps affixed on them in Accra.

The products are packs of red bull energy drink, coca-cola zero sugar, Canada dry drink (beer), and reckers pills, a foreign alcoholic drink.

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The products were confiscated from the Royal Love Enterprise in Okaishie in the central business district of Accra and an unnamed warehouse during a monitoring and enforcement excise to check the level of tax compliance with the Excise Tax Stamp policy.

The Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873) required that excise tax stamps shall be affixed on specified excisable products manufactures in Ghana or imported into the country.

The implementation of the Excise Tax Stamp policy started on January 1, 2018, with enforcement at the points of entry while point of sale enforcement started on March 1, 2018.

The importance of the tax stamp policy was to enable the Authority to monitor the exact quantities declared by manufacturers and importers for tax purposes and ensure that the products are not counterfeited to protect the health of consumers and help generate more revenue for the nation.

The Chief Revenue Officer, Excise Division of GRA, Kwabena Apau Anto, at a media briefing after the exercise, said the exercise was to educate the public on the launch of the Authority’s mobile application to authenticate tax stamps on beverage products and the need to ensure compliance.

He explained that the application dubbed “Ghana Tax Stamp Authenticator” was to help consumers to detect the genuineness of products sold in retail shops.