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Tema port: Seized pistols, ammunition will not be released to any 'big man' - GRA

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in a statement said they will not release seized pistols and ammunitions at Tema port to any 'big man'.

The GRA said it "finds it worrying, mischievous and premature any information that seeks to imply that the seized ammunition is being kept for onward release to some ‘big men’."

They have confirmed the seizure of some pistols and ammunition at the Tema Port.

GRA said the Authority in collaboration with some state authorities at the Tema Port impounded a 20-footer container containing 436 pistols, 26 packs of 50 pieces of ammunition and 1(40millimetre) piece of pepper spray, that were illegally imported from Turkey into Ghana.

The arms and ammunition were found to have been concealed in personal effects made up of clothing, shoes and bags among other items.

GRA in the statement signed by its Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Florence Asante, stated that the arms were detected during a physical examination exercise on October 9, 2020, at the Terminal Three facility by officials of the Tema Command of Customs.

“The attention of the Ghana Revenue Authority has been drawn to information being circulated in the media about a consignment of goods that was seized by the Customs Division at the Tema port on Friday 9th October 2020. The Customs Division of the GRA wishes to put on record that: the container described on arrival at the Tema port as containing Personal Effects, Household Goods and a Carding Machine was flagged as ‘Red Channel”. After examination, eighteen (18) packages identified as restricted items were found in the container. These include 436 Pistols (Side Arms), 26 packs of 50 pieces of Ammunition and 1 (40ml) piece of Pepper Spray,” the statement noted.

The statement further noted that the items had been imported into the country without the necessary permits from the Ministry of Interior and the items had also not been declared to Customs on arrival.

“An inventory of the items was taken in the presence of officers of the Preventive wing of the Customs Division (Intelligence & Examination Officer), Bureau of National Investigations, National Security and the Police. All representatives, including the clearing agent signed against the total number of arms and ammunitions seized. A seizure notice was issued to the clearing agent and the seized consignment was placed in the custody of the Customs Division,” it added.

The statement, however, noted that the arms and ammunition are currently being kept at the armoury of GRA to allow for investigations.

The clearing agent at the centre of the seizure is also currently assisting the Tema Harbour Police Command with the investigation.