Seized pistols, ammo were imported without permit - GRA

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it is worried at what it called mischievous and premature information that sought to imply that some 436 pieces of pistols and ammunitions seized at the Tema Port on Friday were being kept to be released to some ‘big men’.

According to the Authority, the issue is under police investigations and the seizure of the weapons were to allow for proper investigations since the container carrying the arms failed to declare them on arrival.

A statement issued in Accra on Sunday by the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Communications and Public Relations, Ms Florence Asante indicated that the said container which described its contents as personal effects, household goods and a carding machine, was flagged as ‘Red Channel”, thereby necessitating the need for a physical examination to be conducted on it.

“The examination revealed 18 packages identified as restricted items were found in the container and these include 436 Pistols (side arms), 26 packs of 50 pieces of ammunition and one (40ml) piece of pepper spray,” the release said.

The statement stressed that the items had been imported into the country without the requisite permits from the Ministry of the Interior, and such were not declared to Customs on arrival.

It said that an inventory of the items was taken in the presence of officers of the Preventive wing of the Customs Division made up of intelligence and examination officers, officials of the Bureau of National Investigations, National Security and the Police with all the representatives, including the clearing agent signing against the total number of arms and ammunitions seized.

Following the inventory, the statement said a seizure notice was issued to the clearing agent and the seized consignment was placed in the custody of the Customs Division, with the clearing agent currently assisting the Marine Police Unit with investigations.

The outcome of the investigations by the police on the restricted items, she said, will be made public when concluded.

The statement cautioned all importers that the importation of arms and ammunition could only be carried out with a permit by the Ministry of the Interior and these items must be declared

re the safety of all citizens,” the statement said.