The Ghana Airport Company has confirmed that it has caused the arrest and punishment of some of its officials in the past for aiding illegal gold trade in the country.
This confirmation is contained in the company’s official response to a JoyNews documentary that uncovered the illegal export of gold through the country’s airport.
Although they admitted that “There have been instances where Airport Staff have been arrested”, they added that “Such cases have duly been investigated and those found guilty have been punished in line with internal disciplinary procedures/measures”.
The company also insists that in spite of “some miscreants” that are occasionally encountered, its gold exportation protocol is quite comprehensive.
“The assumption that established protocols are not observed is FALSE. It is important to note that there are measures in place to ensure strict adherence to established Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s),” they stated.
The JoyNews documentary revealed at least $5 billion worth of gold that left the shores are not accounted for by way of taxes.
The Co-Chair of the Ghana Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative, Dr. Steve Manteaw says this figure is merely a fraction of what he believes actually occurs.
“The Swiss government actually imported gold from Ghana worth $7 billion. We compared that to Bank of Ghana records and what we officially reported was less than $2 billion.
“And so when the President subsequently indicated that the UAE had also quoted figures that were way above what was officially recorded I became concerned,” he told host of PM Express Evans Mensah, Wednesday night.
Founder and President of the Africa Institute of Extractive Industries, Dr Tony Aubyn who was on the show as well, says the nation can deal with the canker by permitting a single entity to carry out export as is done for cocoa.
“There is only one entity that can export cocoa, that is COCOBOD. So it helps us to better account for the volumes that we ship in the sector. In the same way, if we regulate it better and get PMMC to be the sole exporter of gold, we will able to account for our gold export.”, he stated.
Source: Ghana News