OccupyGhana is asking the Chief of Staff Frema Osei Opare to cause criminal and forensic investigations to be conducted into alleged cases of fuel smuggling.
The pressure group says persons found to have aided the criminal act should be prosecuted and punished.
A report compiled by the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) details what is alleged to be systematic cases of smuggling of fuel in the country. The report was launched by Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
The 2017 industry and indicts officials of National Security, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and persons at the Office of the President for these nefarious activities.
OccupyGhana in a letter to the Chief of Staff says “We note with concern the alleged revenue losses amounting to GHS 1.4 billion in the loss of over 800-thousand metric tonnes of subsidized fuel. If true, this is completely unacceptable. Also worrying is the allegation that about GHS 5.2 million was lost to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) from diversions of 230 illegitimately subsidized premix trucks.”
The pressure group quotes the bulk oil distributors as alleging that the losses result from “increased smuggling activities along our coasts, under-invoicing, illegal tax and regulatory margins, ESLA under-reporting, Special Petroleum Tax (SPT) transfer pricing, deliberate inefficiencies and illegalities at BOST, unlawful profiteering, tax evasion and export dumping.”
The group says it is particularly troubled by “the claim that these are happening with the connivance and complicity of officials in the Office of the President, in National Security, and in GRA.”
It says, “In the interest of the principles of probity, accountability and transparency, we write to request that full-scale criminal and highly forensic investigations are conducted into the alleged findings in the CBOD Report. If any persons are found to have engaged in these acts we would urge the prosecution of all criminally culpable elements within the petroleum value chain to the full extent permissible by law, no matter who these culpable elements may be.”
The Chamber had also called for investigations into the matter.
Its Chief Executive, Senyo Hosi, said both the current and previous governments have not demonstrated enough commitment to fighting the menace of fuel smuggling, primarily because the perpetrators are politically connected.