Tamale sees destruction of millions of confiscated Tobacco products


The Ghana Revenue Authority’s Customs Division has taken decisive action against illicit tobacco products smuggled into the country, destroying seized items from Pulmakom and Tamale in the Upper East and Northern Regions, respectively.


According to Sector Commander Georgina Lamisi Tibanye, responsible for the Northern and North East Regions, intelligence gathered from British-American Tobacco on September 5th, 2023, led to the identification of a warehouse in the Upper East Region. A joint operation, involving military assistance due to security concerns, was conducted to seize the contraband.


She detailed the challenges faced during the operation and highlighted the ongoing investigation into the perpetrators, who managed to evade capture upon the team’s arrival. Despite difficulties in apprehending suspects, efforts continue to ensure accountability.

“We’re dealing with illicit cigarettes which were arrested from Pulmakom in the Upper East Region. We got an intel message on September 5, 2023. There was a warehouse where illicit cigarettes were stored. Three teams drawn from our headquarters-Accra, Tema collection, Ho and Tamale. We had earlier sent two men on a mission who gave us the location.


“This exercise was carried out in collaboration with British-American Tobacco, they gave us the intel. We had to engage the military to assist us because of the curfew. The security situation was not favourable, so we had to manage to get what we could get and lock the rest at the warehouse and transported to Tamale. In all, we had 60. 9 million sticks of illicit cigarettes.


“Tamale collection on their own also arrested 162 boxes of cigarettes. Before the Pulmakom operation, there was a few that we got together with drugs that are prohibited and some pornographic items which are also going to be destroyed.”

The economic impact of such illicit activities is significant, with tax losses totaling GHC 7,951,238.39 from the impounded tobacco products alone. Madam Tibanye underscored the broader implications of tax evasion on national finances, emphasizing the need for continued vigilance and enforcement measures.



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