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Thu, Nov

Alleged $313m money laundering: GRA probes companies’ tax compliance

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According to EOCO, Chen used these companies to illegally channel the monies to China against the laws of the country.
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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it is conducting a search in its records to find out whether or not the companies mentioned in the alleged $313.59 million money laundering case involving a Chinese woman have registered for tax.


The move is to assist the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), which is investigating the case, to determine specific charges to be preferred against the suspect, Chen Jianhua.

The Chief Revenue Officer, Communications and Public Affairs at the GRA, Mr Johnson Menlah Yankey, told the Daily Graphic on Tuesday that if the search by the authority revealed that the companies were registered for tax, the GRA would then advise EOCO on the actual status of the companies involved.

The companies

Among the companies are Synergy Global Consult Limited, Venturome Ventures and Kings Royal Real Estates.

According to EOCO, Chen used these companies to illegally channel the monies to China against the laws of the country.

The anti-graft institution had alleged that Chen, with the connivance of some banks and other persons, made the illegal money transfers from Ghana to China between 2011 and 2019.

EOCO’s case on tax evasion

In its investigations, EOCO said it computed the provisional tax liability base on the inflows that had the individual bank accounts of Synergy Global Consulting, Venturome Ventures, Kings Royal Estate, one Christopher King, who is a friend of Chen, and Chen herself, and found that none of the companies had registered for tax or had tax identification numbers.

According to the EOCO, since the firms had not been able to provide any evidence of tax payments, it had referred the matter to the GRA for its expert view.

The organisation, however, said provisional tax assessments on Chen’s inflows as evident on her bank statements showed tax elements of $5 million and GH¢88 million.

GRA to advise

Giving further details on the GRA’s action on the matter, Mr Yankey said when it completed its search on the companies, EOCO would have a clear way going forward.

In all that, he said, the GRA would liaise with EOCO to compute the actual tax liabilities.

”EOCO will then be in a better position to determine the specific charges to be preferred against the suspect,” he said.

Mr Yankey gave an assurance that the GRA would collaborate with EOCO to ensure a successful prosecution of the suspects after investigations had established the offences and recovery of the total tax evaded.

Bail

Meanwhile, Ms Chen has been granted police enquiry bail while EOCO works to wind up investigations into her case.

A source at EOCO told the Daily Graphic yesterday that everything was being done to get to the bottom of the matter and that no one found culpable would be let off the hook.

Background

After strenuous investigations, EOCO last week, picked up Chen, who has been living in Ghana since 2010, for alleged money laundering.

She is also being investigated for tax evasion, using forged bank accounts and a fake driver’s licence.

Chen was arrested and placed in police custody in Accra after EOCO found that large amounts of money in dollars moved through multiple bank accounts from Ghana to China between 2011 and 2019.

 

Source: graphic.com.gh

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