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General News
109 missing containers at Tema Port? 9/4/2007
Accra, Sept. 03, GNA - Mr Kwabena Ahenkorah, an employee of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Monday alleged that 109 containers of various items got missing at Tema Port after November 2005. Testifying at the Justice Glenn Baddoo Committee in Accra, Mr Ahenkorah implored the Committee to invite some officials of Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), working with the CEPS'' Auction team, to explain the whereabouts of the containers.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in July inaugurated the four-member committee with a month''s deadline to investigate allegations of operational malpractices at CEPS to establish administrative actions against culpable personnel and identify management weaknesses in dealing expeditiously with disciplinary matters.

It would also review the systems, procedures, processes, rules and regulations of CEPS in relation to its auction procedures to recommend specific actions or alternatives of disposing of seized goods. The committee would also examine the role of clearing agents, auctioneers and other related matters.

Mr Ahenkorah particularly entreated the Committee to invite Madam Millicent Akpo-Teye Head of the Auction Team; and two others Mr Adu Poku and Major Okine, to come and explain the whereabouts of those containers.

He said he performed special duties at GCAA and was directed by the then Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to undertake the monitoring of the auction of some containers at the port. Two other witnesses, Mr Andrews Quaynor and Mr Prince Charles Annan, who worked with Mr Ahenkorah to monitor the auction, accompanied him to the probe.

Mr Ahenkorah said 126 containers were sold, but as the exercise progressed the Minister ordered that some containers stocked with books, generators, Jacuzzi, split air-conditioners, electrical parts and iron rods were not auctioned, but the contents should be used for government projects in the education and health sectors, offices and other projects.

He described the missing of the containers as economic sabotage, and members of the CEPS Auction Team asked the police to arrest the three of them and they were detained for eight hours in police cells on allegation that they were unnecessarily interfering in their work. Another witness, Mr Rodrick Daddey-Adjei, immediate former Head of Tema Port Office of Food and Drugs Board (FDB) suggested that his outfit should be allowed to participate in the quality assessment of drugs in the containers that were to be auctioned. Mr Daddey-Adjei said FDB was mandated to certify the quality of medical items before they left the port.

Some of the medical items and food supplements were later found to have expired and were seized by FBD post market surveillance team last April.

Mr Isaac Owusu-Yankah, a businessman, who won the bid for the container with the drugs during the auction, is claiming compensation from CEPS for allegedly selling expired drugs to him. 03 Sept. 07Source:

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