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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 19 March 2020
A combined team from the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division) and the Police in the Bono East Region have arrested the owner and Managing Director of Greenland Commodities, Karuppiah Ramasamy and Director Alex Owusu for alleged tax evasion running into several millions of Ghana cedis.
Mr Karuppiah, an Indian – who deals predominantly in cashew and raw cashew nuts, was apprehended after a swoop on his offices in Tema, Techiman (Bono East Region), Kwameseikrom (Bono Region) before finally pouncing on him at Sampa in the Bono Region and whisked to the Police Headquarters in Accra, late last Thursday night.
However, his alleged accomplice – one Alex Owusu – who is a Director of Power Hydraulic Limited (deals in cashew), and Greenland commodities, another company allegedly owned by Karuppiah, managed to escape before the raid.
Items seized from Karuppiah’s offices during the swoop were laptops, cash books, and some documents.
Aside from cashew business, Karuppiah and Alex Owusu companies are also into importation and distribution of rice, oil, sugar, and toiletries (washing powder, Dettol, soaps, etc).
According to the journalist, Karuppiah and Owusu have been under the raider of the Debt Management and Compliance Enforcement (DMCE) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), for several years, “but somehow, they have always outwitted us until now.”
Documents sighted by the journalist suggested that Mr. Karuppiah has evaded tax for many years, running into millions of cedis.
The Indian has also allegedly been fingered for money laundering and several other illegal activities.
The GRA officials say the Ghana Revenue Authority DMCE team have been hard on the heels of the two persons over the past years.
“Because of their tax commitment and other levies to the GRA, they always find a way of going insolvent; closed down and open a new company,” a GRA source added.
When contacted, the Assistant Commissioner of GRA, Rev. Oduro Yeboah – who doubles as Special Assistant to the Commissioner-General of GRA, Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, confirmed the arrest of Karuppiah adding that his outfit was investigating into the matter.
“We are yet to get an official briefing from our investigating team from DMCE, but it is true that we have effected the arrest of Karuppiah for alleged tax evasion and other things.
“For now, we can’t tell you anything with regard to their liabilities. After our investigations, we would take the necessary action if they are found culpable,” he stressed.
However, he noted that the Indian insisted his company’s name was rather Greenlands Commodities and not Greenland Commodities, an assertion Rev. Yeboah said “would be fully investigated into to determine the truth.”
Evidence available to GRA suggests that the Indian does transactions in the name of Greenlands Commodities but receive payment through Greenland Commodities – a company he denied knowledge of.
Last Friday, the suspect was granted bail, based on the recommendations of the GRA, whilst investigations are opened into the matter.
However, apparently unsatisfied with circumstances that led to the bail, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) on Monday, March 15, invited Mr.Karuppiah for further interrogation and currently they are in BNI custody. During the investigation, they revealed Mr. Rajkumar (CEO of Rajkumar impex) is their Godfather and investigations turning into Rajkumar side.