Adom News’ investigations have revealed that Ghana loses an estimated 370,000 cedis daily at nine Axle Load Weigh Stations due to tax evasion regime developed by some officials of the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) and their assigned private agents at the various ports.
Intelligence gathered by our reporter, Kwame Anum, indicated that some 22 suspects have been arrested in connection with this act. The Special Monitoring and Surveillance Unit of the National Security Secretariat conducted the operation on Friday, July 23, where these staff of the highways authority were using private agents to illegally collect monies from truck drivers and owners.
The private agents, who have been stationed at the Tema port, are able to detect overloaded trucks and then confront them with the dubious tax evasion business.
The suspects, our sources say, are in the custody of the National Intelligence Bureau assisting with investigations.
The Axle Load Weigh Stations are points used by supervisors from the GHA to check a truck’s weight to ensure it is not overweight and comforms to state laws and safety guidelines.
The weight of a truck is usually calculated in measurements: Axle Weight – The amount of weight carried by each tandem axle on a truck.
Any truck that arrives at the Weigh Station with an overloaded axle is charged 5,000 cedis as a spot fine and the excess goods removed to get the right weight of goods on the truck before they get to their destination.
Our intelligence gathered indicated that these rots are happening mainly in these locations: From Tema Harbour to Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District. That stretch has mainly eight to nine Axle Laod Weigh Stations:
Tema (Greater Accra Region).
Nsawam (Eastern Region).
Kumasi (Ashanti Region).
Techiman (Bono East Region).
Gymea (Bono East Region).
Yapei (Savannah Region).
Bolga (Upper East Region).
Bimbilla (Northern Region) to Sawla (Savannah Region).
Takoradi to Kumasi through Obuasi.
The intelligence gathered by our reporter, Kwame Anum, revealed that, those involved in the massive revenue loss scheme against the state at these Weigh Stations are:
Some GHA officials, some Duty Staff who run shift duties at the Weigh Stations and some Private Clearing Agents at the Harbours.
HOW THEY OPERATE
Our sources say private clearing agents approach vehicles with goods that have exceeded their axle weight at the various loading Stations to discuss business. Details of the vehicles are, therefore, taken and forwarded to the highways staff at the various Weigh Stations.
MONIES CHARGED TO UNDERTAKE THIS ROT
According to our sources, a truck pays a little over GHc3,700.00 to beat-the-system at say, eight axle load stations. An average 100 trucks daily are taken through this illegal tax evasion scheme.
Our sources give the weigh station distribution of these monies as follows:
Tema (Greater Accra Region) – Gh₵500.00
Nsawam (Eastern Region) – Gh₵400.00
Kumasi (Ashanti Region) – Gh₵500.00
Techiman (Bono East Region) – Gh₵400.00
Gymea (Bono East Region) – Gh₵500.00
Yapei (Savannah Region) – Gh₵400.00
Bolga (Upper East Region) – Gh₵500.00
Bimbilla (Northern Region) to Sawla (Savannah Region) – Gh₵500.00
Total = Gh₵3,700.00
So, out of the cash, our sources say, Gh₵800.00 per truck goes to this private agent as a dailiy profit, multiplied by an average of 100 trucks a day.
On daily basis, the number of trucks passage through these Weigh Stations is estimated at 100 trucks.
After the agreement between the agent and the truck drivers is sealed, monies are therefore sent to officials on duty at the various Weigh Stations through Momo with the details of the trucks, including truck type, make and truck registration number plus goods to enable these the supervisors identify their clients.
Information we gathered is that the Weighing Scale at the Weigh Stations is put off mostly around 2:00am, to enable trucks that have paid illegal monies gain access to their destinations. Receipts are also not issued to them because the machine has not calibrated the axle load they are carrying into the system.
MONTHLY STATE CASH THAT GOES TO RPIVATE POCKETS
If on daily basis, an estimated number of 100 trucks (both local and foreign) pass through the above-mentioned nine Weigh Stations. The following amounts of monies are illegally received by the perpetrators already mentioned:
Daily Illegal collections
Amount of monies collected per truck daily – Gh₵3,700
Estimated No. of trucks per day – x 100
Total daily illegal collections – Gh₵370,000.OO
Monthly illegal collections
Total daily illegal collections – Gh₵3,700 collected per a truck daily multiplied the average 100 trucks (3,700.00 x 100 = 370,000.00) that amount multiplied by 30 means 11,100,000 cedis monthly goes into private pockets.