My office will focus on big companies committing tax offences – Attorney General

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The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has revealed that among his priorities this year will be the prosecution of tax offences by big companies including multinational firms operating Ghana.

He explained that the situation where big companies and entities including multinational firms operating in Ghana, which are required to contribute significantly to the tax revenue of the state, understate or hide the true income in a bid to evade satisfaction of their true obligations to the state is unjustified.

Speaking during the inauguration of the newly-constituted board of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) on Wednesday March 2, he charged the body to scale up investigation of serious tax fraud.

He said “On my working visit to the offices of EOCO recently, I felt constraint to make the remark about the relatively low record of money it had recovered from the proceeds of crime.

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“It is undesirable for perpetuators of economic crime to conceal or keep the fruits of the crimes against the people of Ghana. Such a situation breeds mistrust in the system and rubs the nation of the much needed revenue for the executive of lofty development projects.

“In my respectful view, the mandate to recover proceeds of crime is one that places EOCO squarely in the position to contribute to the national purse by being a major generator of revenue.

“I implore the new board to formulate policies and superintend the affairs of the organization in the manner so as to efficiently boost its recovery of proceeds or crime.”

He added “There is a pressing need for EOCO to focus on the investigation of serious tax fraud. There could not have been a more appropriate occasion to call for the prosecution of big tax offenders than now.

“… the situation where big companies and entities including multinational firms operating in Ghana, which are required to contribute significantly to the tax revenue of the state, understate or hide the true income in a bid to evade satisfaction of their true obligations to the state is unjustified.

“Having indicated to the management of EOCO already that the prosecution of tax offences by big companies including multinational firms operating the country will be a focus of my office this year and the years to come come, I expect EOCO to devise very efficient ways of investigating such offences to ensure they are able to prosecute.

“A successful tenure of the board will require cooperation with the Executive Director Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah. She is a woman I have known for over twelve years, I am confident that she will cooperate with the board in every way necessary for a smooth achievement of the officers of the organisation.”

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