By Samuel Duodu,
In its resolve to keep the onslaught of smugglers of imitation goods from the country, the Sunyani Sector Command of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), on Thursday destroyed a quantity of seized cartons of cigarettes at its headquarters in Sunyani, the regional capital.
The seized cigarettes made up of 15 cartons were seized by CEPS officials at the frontier stations in the region were set on fire in the presence of representatives from the Regional Fire Service and some journalists.
Briefing newsmen on the destruction of the seized cigarettes, Alhaji Imoru Farouk Adam, who is also the Sunyani Sector Commander, said the cigarettes were smuggled into the country through an unapproved route and burnt publicly to dispel the public perception that the seized cigarette would be returned to the owners after sometime.
He added that on most occasions when cigarettes were seized the owners did not own up because they were concealed in other goods in order to outwit CEPS officials, but through vigilance this contraband goods were intercepted.
The Sector Commander said the contraband goods did not also bear the warning, which stated, “Smoking of Cigarettes can be harmful to your health” and added that most of these seized cigarettes were imitations and might have expired when it was seized.
Alhaji Adam, who is also Assistant Commissioner of CEPS, disclosed that CEPS officials at the country’s frontiers in the region would continue to be vigilant and not spare smugglers of such contraband goods into the country.
He said because of the high taxes placed on the importation of cigarettes into the country in order to protect the local tobacco industry it had become difficult for people to import cigarettes through the approved routes and have therefore resorted to smuggling them.
Alhaji Adam called on the public to volunteer credible information which would lead to the arrest of these smugglers and called for a closer collaboration from sister security agencies in the fight against smuggling, which denied the state the needed revenue.