The Bureau for Internal Affairs (BIA), a centre for information gathering on public concerns, on Tuesday called for a national war on the illegal importation of rice by a syndicate, which is denying the State the needed revenue.
The illegal importation of rice has become a national problem, which needs to be addressed, BIA said in a statement issued in Accra.
The statement signed by Godfred Nkrumah, Co-ordinating Director of the Bureau said investigations revealed that the illegal importation of the commodity is done through the country’s borders, which undermines the payment of duty to the State and encourages money laundering.
It said the illegal activity is affecting genuine rice importation as well as the local rice industry, which has attracted massive investment from the government.
Some of the communities rife for such activities are Sampa, Kofi Badu Krom, Atuna and Kwame Osei Krom in the Brong Ahafo Region,
BIA cautioned those involved in the criminal acts including the importers, truck drivers and their agents to desist from the economic crime.
The statement said the Bureau is collaborating with the public, civil society groups and the security agencies to support the authorities to clamp down on the nefarious activities especially at Kofi Badu Krom and Sampa, as the country approaches the celebration of Christmas.
It said such acts have become revenue and economic threat to the nation.
“BIA is calling on the Government to institute tough measures against people in responsible positions who are aiding such acts, which cost the State millions of cedis.
The statement noted that revenue is the life wire of every nation hence the need for the public to join the crusade against revenue leakages especially illegal rice importation.
BIA is a centre for gathering information on public concerns, which aims at bridging the communication gap between the public and the authorities on issues negatively affecting the nation. GNA