The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, in collaboration with the National Security and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, on Friday, 27 August 2021, impounded 13 containers of rosewood at the Tema Port.
Six of the 13 containers have been confirmed to be carrying rosewood.
This disclosure was made by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry, Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio, who led a team of officers from the National Security and the Customs Division of the GRA, to inspect and confirm the consignment.
Details revealed by Mr. Owusu-Bio at a press conference on Friday indicated that rosewood lumber were being imported from Nigeria to Ghana.
He said that the authorities first got wind of the arrival of the illegal rosewood consignment but opted against opening them, as a result of the absence of the owners of the containers.
The deputy minister narrated that the initial information stated that the containers were five but further investigations brought to the fore that as many as 13 containers carrying the banned substance have been shipped into the country.
He also disclosed that the company which was identified as the consignee is FELISCO SUN Company limited.
Mr Owusu-Bio used the opportunity to restate the government’s zero-tolerance policy on rosewood felling.
He said all trading activities in rosewood, be it import or export, are banned in the country and that the persons who are caught to have acted in contravention of the law, will face the full rigours of the law.
He warned that the clampdown on rosewood continues unabated and any person or organisation found to be dealing in it will not be spared.
Mr Owusu-Bio also disclosed that the case will be handed over to the National Intelligence Bureau for a probe and possible arrest of the persons behind the illegal activity.
“The government, under the auspices of Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, is clamping down on illegal rosewood trade”, he said.
“In June this year, seven tracks ferrying rosewood were impounded by a highly efficient and motivated taskforce”, he added.
Two were seized at the Savanna Region while the other five were arrested at the Tema port.