Government urged to pull plugs on illicit gold trade as country loses $2 billion annually

Plugging the gaping revenue leakages from the smuggling of gold by small-scale miners will boost the country`s fiscal revenue.

Almost $2 billion worth of gold is said to be smuggled out annually by some small-scale miners to Dubai and India, making the country worse off.

A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea who dropped the hint said about 6 billion dollars of gold exported from Ghana to India and Dubai between 2013 and 2016 had not been reported, making the country lose revenue.

Dr. Ali-Nakyea said the unreported exports were revealed by the countries that received the gold because they had systems in place that tracked all import transactions into those countries.

He provided statistics from Zauba Technologies and Data services of India, which indicated that between January 2014 and January 2016, a total of One hundred and one thousand, one hundred and Seventy-nine kilogram of gold, valued at $3.7 billion was shipped out of the country to India alone without going through the necessary processes. Again the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) estimates illicit financial flow from illegal mining in Ghana in 2013 to be about One Point Seven billion dollars.

Dr. Ali-Nakyea advised government to adopt innovative ways of plugging the holes so that it could generate more revenue for development. He, therefore, expressed for the need to check collusion among clearing agents, customs officials and revenue authorities.

The tax consultant also urged government to keep a database of importers and exporters, which will be reviewed annually in a bid to “weed” out dubious persons engaged in trade mispricing.

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