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Two Customs officers detained

By Victoria Saffa

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday issued a press release that in a joint operation with the Sierra Leone Police, led by Police Superintendent R. Shyllon, last week arrested a forty feet (40ft) trailer with undeclared goods at the Customs and Security Check Point, Gbalamuya, Kambia district.

The trailer, with Guinean registration number RC7039J and RC8053F at the front and rear respectively, had crossed from the Republic of Guinea into Sierra Leone and contained assorted items, the release said.

According to the release, signed by Director of Public Education and Outreach, Shollay Davies, the customs declaration form showed duty payment in the sum of nine million, five hundred thousand Leones (Le9, 500,000).

However, he said a reassessment of the goods in Freetown by the ACC and customs officers, headed by Yassin Jalloh, officer in charge of valuation at the National Revenue Authority, revealed that the importer only declared twenty out of one hundred and forty eight assorted items discovered in the container.

The release said the reassessment further revealed that a total of duty payable on all the goods amounted to sixty-six million, five hundred and forty one thousands, three hundred and thirty three Leones, eight cents (Le66,541,333.80), evidencing a shortfall of fifty seven million Leones, forty-one thousand, three hundred and thirty three Leones, eighty cents (Le57,041,333.80), representing 85.2% of the total assessment.

Meanwhile, two Customs Officers attached to the Gbalamuya Customs Post, suspected to have colluded with the importer to evade payment of full duty, Hannah Jalloh, a Collector and Byron Pratt, an Assistant Collector, and Chernor Gbentu Jalloh, the importer of the goods, have been detained and are helping the Commission with the investigations.