Seized cigarettes worth ¢390,000 destroyed

The Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) through the collaborative and surveillance efforts of the Industrial and Market Support System (IMSS) has destroyed five containers of rotten cigarette at the Kpone landfill site near Tema.

The consignment which landed at the port in 2012 was in transit to Burkina Faso but was abandoned at the Tema Harbour for some months which made the IMSS prompt CEPS officials to physically inspect the goods.

CEPS officials revealed upon inspection that many of the cigarettes had gone bad making it unwholesome.

The cigarettes valued at ¢329,000.00 were imported from Canada by the World Trade Company and owned by Ghanaian businessman, Mr Peter Kofi Asuamah Attakora.

Briefing the media at the land fill site, the Chief Revenue Officer in charge of investigations at the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr Samuel Arthur, said some of the things found during the inspection resulted in the seizure.

He said consignments destined for Francophone countries have documented covering the goods in the French language but this one was the English language.

Also, the cigarettes did not have the clearance stamps of the standards authorities such as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).

Mr Arthur said despite the fact that the consignment was documented to be offloaded in Burkina Faso it was still meant for Ghanaian market as the importer was trying to change the official documents to suit the Ghanaian market.

In an interview with Mr Christopher Kuupiele, the Operations Manager of IMSS after the destruction said as far as the products have no warning inscriptions and proper documentation of its final destination its safety cannot be determined.

He added that without some key information boldly written on the product, the consignment is disqualified for not meeting international market and legal specifications.

The unwholesome products were offloaded and buried at the Kpone Landfill site under the heavy supervision of the officials of national security, CEPS, the Ghana Police Service, Environmental Protection Agency and Accra Metropolitan Authority.

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