Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has handed over 13 impounded containers of Rosewood to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) in Tema.
Estimated at $234,000 or over GH¢1.4 million, the 13 containers of Rosewood imported into Ghana from Nigeria, suspected of onward export to an overseas destination, were impounded at the Port of Tema.
A high-level collaboration and intelligence gathered between the Ministry of Lands and other mandated state agencies led to the confiscation of the containers at the Tema Port.
It was subsequently deposited by Customs at the Overseas Commerce Ghana Limited Terminal – an Uncleared Cargo List (UCL) terminal in Tema.
Speaking to the media after inspecting the impounded containers and handing them over to the NIB, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor said the government took the issues on the harvesting, importing, and exporting of the endangered species with utmost seriousness and was dealing with it in a transparent manner and in the context of enormous integrity.
“On the instructions of President Akufo-Addo, we have put an outright ban on the export of Rosewood which is why Customs working in conjunction with National Security and other state agencies have confiscated them. So, I want to commend the high command of customs particularly at Tema Port and also to assure that the investigation is becoming wider now,” the Minister asserted.
He said investigations had already commenced and it was clear testimony that the policies, measures, and enforcement regime put in place were working, hence the confiscation of the Rosewood by customs working in collaboration with mandated security agencies.
“We are very convinced there is a sophisticated cartel or syndicate involved in this, and we think the National Security can unravel them,’’ Mr. Jinapor maintained.
He said it was about time that some measures were developed to confiscate trucks conveying Rosewood or other contraband products for import or export. According to him, these trucks when confiscated will be given to the state, adding that it could be a deterrent intervention and the Ministry was considering that amongst other gamut of remedies.