Customs Whistleblower Backtracks

A Chief Collector of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Stanley Boye-Quaye, who alleged that a colleague manipulated the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) to his advantage, has backtracked when he was invited to defend his allegation before a 5-man committee. The Chief Collector wrote a letter dated 18th October 2014, to the Commissioner General of GRA, alleging that a fellow customs officer, Chief Collector, Felix Mate Kojo, engaged in fraudulent practices in the GCMS. Management of GRA subsequently instituted a committee of enquiry chaired by Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Preventive, Mr. Frank Abban, to look into the alleged malfeasance to determine whether or not there was fraudulent change in the system to undermine revenue. The committee is also to investigate if forged invoices of import consignment were issued and whether there was fraudulent change of cargo. The committee invited Chief Collector, Mate Kojo to testify and afterwards, the whistleblower, Chief Collector, Boye-Quaye was also asked to appear before it. On the 14th of July 2014, lawyers from Myers Legal Consult (Pentagon Chambers) at Lartebiokoshie, a suburb of Accra addressed a letter to the Commissioner General of GRA. The letter, captioned; ‘INVITATION TO ASSIST IN INVESTIGATIONS’ reads: “I act as solicitor for and on behalf of Mr. Stanley Boye-Quaye. My attention has been drawn to a letter of above heading addressed to my client. “It is regrettable that when my client appeared before the said committee of inquiring the chairman, Mr. Jones Abban, Deputy Commissioner Preventive, refused to furnish me through my client, a copy of the document setting up the said committee of inquiring claiming it to be a secret and confidential document. In the circumstances, I wish to humbly advise that we are unable to co-operate with the committee.” The letter was copied to the commissioner of customs. Effort made to reach lawyer Nathaniel Myers to explain his position proved futile. Meanwhile a highly placed source close to the committee intimated that it is regrettable that a witness in such a high standing should not be in the position to assist the committee to investigate the allegation he made. The source who is worried about the turn of event said that, the witness from a very sensitive security establishment like customs should have lived by example but as it is now, the committee has little to do and will have to treat him as a hostile witness which goes with a punishment.