A gold bullion weighing 480 kilogramme valued at $18 million and bound for India and Dubai was at the weekend intercepted at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The bullion was discovered among some 12 boxes being arranged for export to the afore-mentioned destinations by two Indian firms and three Ghanaian companies upon a tip-off.
Officials of the Accra-based AA Minerals Limited – the only licensed private gold buying company in Ghana – allegedly connived with their colleagues at BGC International, K.K Enterprises, Italtec Ghana Limited and Guldrest Resources to illegally transport the gold out of the country.
The gold were without declaration and proper documentation.
The incident has heightened further suspicions of the enormity of smuggling and under-declaration in the country’s mineral sector.
According to customs officials, exporting gold without any documentation is a daily occurrence at the Kotoka International Airport, adding that a lot of licensed gold exporters in the country took part in such deals to eschew paying suitable taxes.
The Bank of Ghana, in 2015, noted that a total of $3.2 billion worth of gold was exported from Ghana by both large and small-scale miners.
About $979.6 million worth of gold arrived in India from Ghana between 2014 and 2015, India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, reveals.
That involved the shipment of a total of 34,000 kilogram of gold by small-scale miners in Ghana.
A directive by the Bank of Ghana to check the occurrence has been met with stiff opposition from licensed gold exporters, who in turn have secured an injunction to stall the Central Bank from carrying out its work.
In September 2015, Bank of Ghana directed that all gold exports by licensed exporters should be made through the Precious Minerals Marketing Company.