Okudzeto Ablakwa: "Someone Used Chief of Staff's Name To Import Rice"

The government has denied media reports that the Chief of Staff, Mr. John Henry Martey Newman, has imported two containers of Indian rice with each containing 1075 bags. Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information told Myjoyonline.com, that Mr. Newman has not imported and does not import rice, into the country. A Ghanaweb news report sourced from a blog of a Searchlight newspaper reporter, named the Chief of Staff as the owner of some 2,150 bags of rice which came into Ghana from Port Jabel Ali in Dubai with the agent’s address at the destination of the goods as Intermodal Shipping Agency Ghana (ISAG) located at Community 2. The two containers, with numbers FSCU3680322 and TGHU2786196 were discharged in the country on the 12th of January 2009 via MV Pac Aries, it said. The consignee of the rice, according to documents that paper said it has obtained is the “Chief of State, the President’s Office, Castle, Accra, Ghana West Africa.” It claims that checks in Dubai indicate that the rice were meant for the Chief of Staff. But Mr Ablakwa rejected the claims. He suspects that someone in an attempt to evade tax may have tried to appropriate the name of the Chief of Staff for his or her personal benefit. He said the matter had been referred to National Security who are investigating and that the shipping company was co-operating.