Assistant Commissioner for Communication at the GRA, Robert Mensah, told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show the decision was reached after the two companies consistently defaulted.
MBG Ltd, a heavy duty equipment dealer, and Holman Brothers, both owned by Mr. Mahama, brother of former President John Dramani Mahama, owed the GRA colossal amounts of money in import duties.
According to Mr. Mensah, MBG Ltd owed 13.15 million cedis in duties in December 2016 – it was supposed to have paid up by November 2015.
The other company, Holman Brothers, owed as of December 2015, an amount of 3.71 million cedis.
Realising that getting the two companies to settle their outstanding debts was becoming a problem, the GRA, the Assistant Commissioner said, entered into settlement arrangements with the companies.
Under the arrangements, MBG Limited was supposed to make a monthly payment of 800,000 from December 2016 to December 2017.
The second company, Mr. Robert Mensah said, was also to pay 192,000 cedis monthly for 13 months to clear its indebtedness.
But the two companies defaulted, compelling the GRA to scrap the arrangement and demand full settlement of the indebtedness with interest which has been outstanding since 2015.
Anti-graft agency, the Economic and Organised Crimes Office last week interrogated Mr. Ibrahim Mahama over dud cheques issued for the payment of import duties to the GRA.
The GRA Assistant Commissioner for Communication said he couldn’t comment on EOCO’s investigations since the Authority did not instigate the investigations.
He, however, confirmed that cheques issued to the GRA as part payments for the companies’ debts were returned.
The GRA, he said, noticed that the accounts from which the cheques were to be drawn had been closed.
He would not comment further except to say that the GRA acted within the law by allowing the two companies to clear their goods from the ports and pay the duty later.
There are media reports the former head of the GRA, Mr. George Blankson, was invited Monday morning by EOCO to assist in investigations into the issue of the dud cheques.