The Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, (retired) has accused the Office of the Special Prosecutor of an attempt to discredit him.
Addressing senior Customs officers at a retreat in Kumasi Wednesday, Colonel Damoah said the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) had attempted to indict himself and the Deputy Commissioner of Operations of the GRA in an investigative report released this week.
He said the report about the Labianca Company Limited was a calculated attempt to dent his reputation and will fail.
Colonel Damoah also asserted that the Special Prosecutor's investigation was "hollow and actuated by malice".
"Anybody who has read that report very well would know that basis of that and luckily for me, God is always on my side. Before that report came, that person had made statement to some people who had come (to tell me that), he was going to publish something that will discredit me and he will do that and I even sent people to go and tell him that he's a small boy and I am older than him. I have lived a meaningful life and if he attempts to destroy me, it won't be easy for him".
"People have tried it, I have survived and this one too I will survive," Colonel Damoah said to a rapturous applause by the Senior Customs Officers who had gathered at the function in Kumasi.
According to him, the claims are being made by a disgruntled former staff of the GRA.
Col. Kwadwo Damoah alleged that the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng had targeted him because he blocked one Mr Akurugu from being seconded to the OSP.
He added that he was ready for prosecution and as long as he remained Commissioner, he will ensure his officers are protected against intimidation.
"He (Special Prosecutor) calls me to his office in relation to LaBianca and at the end of it he talks to me about this same matter and I say yes it is not the Commissioner General (of GRA), I wrote it, go and check and I have my reasons, he will not be released to you, he will be in customs and then behind me he goes to resign, he is given the position of Commissioner of Police and he is now with your office and he goes to make allegations that Mr Adu Kyei and myself we hate him and they will deal with us, so that is it, that is the basis of that publication..."
In its investigative report, the OSP cited one Joseph Adu Kyei, a Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Operations, for issuing “unlawful customs advance ruling”.
Mr. Kyei’s action is said to have led to the reduction of the benchmark values of the frozen foods imported by Labianca Limited, thereby reducing the company’s tax obligations to the state.
The Special Prosecutor issued an interim directive to Labianca Company Limited to pay an amount of GH¢1,074,627.15, representing the short collection or shortfall of revenue arising from the issuance of the unlawful customs advance ruling by the Deputy Commissioner for Customs in charge of operations, Mr. Joseph Adu Kyei into the Asset Recovery Account of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Labianca Company Limited has complied with the directive.
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