Accra, Oct. 15, GNA - The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) Limited has commended the National Security and other agencies for the arrest of four persons at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) trying to smuggle gold out of the country.
"We commend the National Security for the act, which is preliminary communication between PMMC, Ghana Immigration Service and Ghana Revenue Authority," the Commission said.
Mr Venance Dey, the Acting Managing Director of PMMC in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the arrest would send a good signal to deter offenders.
A crack team of operatives from the ITF Unit of National Security on October 9, 2020, arrested a “popular gold dealer” and his accomplices, suspected to be part of a gold smuggling syndicate trafficking Ghana's precious mineral resource outside the country to evade tax.
The key suspect, Benjamin Abeiku Quansah, a gold dealer, based in Tarkwa and Accra, with his accomplices numbering about four, were picked up at the KIA whiles allegedly smuggling large amounts of gold bars out of the country.
Mr Dey said the state institutions did well to halt the illegal activity, saying "We are not sleeping we are working hard to clamp down on all perpetrators of these acts."
He said the PMMC had been strengthened enough with enhanced capacity to deal with such people, adding that they would continue to collaborate with National Security and other security apparatus to stop those who smuggled gold.
Mr Dey called on the law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to fast-track such cases to deter others from those endeavours.
He also called on the Minerals Commission to revoke the licenses of those arrested aside from prosecution, if they were found guilty of the offence.
"Minerals Commission has to go a step forward to revoke their licenses or to ensure that they punish these companies that are going wayward and operating outside the rules and procedures."
Mr Dey said the Commission, under the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 and Regulation 2012, had been mandated to grant licenses to people and businesses, who wanted to export gold outside the country.
He said PMMC was also mandated to be the National assayer of gold leaving the country, indicating that any gold that had to leave the country had to pass through PMMC for certification for assaying.
He said assaying (testing quality of gold) was normally done in collaboration with National Security, the GRA, Ghana Immigration Service, and NACOB to ensure that gold leaving the country had the right certification, the right quantities, and details that were needed and embossed on the bullion.
Mr Dey said the PMMC also had the role of licensing every company or dealer of gold, who wanted to buy and sell gold in the country.
"It is to ensure that the right taxes are paid to the Government, the right commission is also paid to the Government through PMMC and Minerals Commission," he said.