The Border Patrol Unit (BPU) of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) at Paga in the Upper East Region has intercepted over 103 jerry-cans of fuel products and 62 cartons of assorted medicines from smugglers.

In addition the BPU also impounded a mini bus, salon cars and a motor bike all registered in the name of a Burkinabe.

Handing over the goods to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) of the Customs Division, the Sector Commander of GIS, Assistant Commissioner, Faisal Disu disclosed that the operation was effected upon a tip ?off on March 5, 2013.

?Though the suspects involved escaped arrest, the personnel were able to intercept and impound a mini bus and saloon cars, all Burkinabe registered, that were being used to transport the smuggled goods?, he indicated.

Mr Disu, who is also Acting Regional Commander of the GIS, stated that since the beginning of the year, over 100 empty jerry cans had been intercepted and seized By the BPU.

?This has put a big dent on the operations of the smugglers, as they have run out of containers to carry out their nefarious activities. The containers will be publicly destroyed as a way of disrupting the activities of these nation wreckers?

He said in the Paga catchment area, smuggling of fuel products, fertilizers, pharmaceutical products, foreign currency and human were common.

He said because the products are easily available at the numerous filling stations in the area and the fact that fuel prices in Burkina Faso were higher as well as the availability of unapproved routes in the catchment area it facilitates the movement of smugglers and their cargo in and out of the Country. ?It therefore comes as no surprise when statistics from the National Petroleum consumption puts Upper East only second to Greater Accra Region?.

The Sector Commander noted that with the introduction of intelligence led tactics into its operations, it is envisaged that the BPU would make more interceptions and arrests this year.

He mentioned logistical constraint as one of the major obstacles militating against the BPU efforts and indicated that the Unit had only one motorbike, as its patrol vehicle had broken down.

Accommodation for personnel, he noted was also woefully inadequate as some of the staff had to rent rooms in towns and sometimes from people who engage in smuggling.

Receiving the confiscated goods, Mr Emmanuel Lawson, a Senior Collector from the GRA of Custom Division commended GIS for the good job done.

He indicated that the items would be auctioned and paid to the Consolidated Fund and encouraged the BPU not to relent in their efforts.

Source: GNA


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