BNI & GRA operation uncovers GH¢500 million tax fraud

Business & Financial

A historic operation led by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) culminated in the arrest of officials of Wan Heng Ghana Ltd., a Chinese-owned cement production business.

Due to alleged tax irregularities totaling GH500 million, the company’s managers were detained. The joint operation is the result of a tip from the GRA’s Tema Medium Taxpayer Office, which alerted authorities to irregularities in the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) and Ghana Education Trust (GET) Fund’s monthly filings.

The management of Wan Heng Ghana Ltd., known for producing Sol Cement, refused to cooperate with investigators looking into allegations of tax evasion during the subsequent joint operation between police and military personnel. As a result, the management was detained by the military. In anticipation of the outcome of the ongoing investigation, the authorities have also locked up the property.

According to documents received from the GRA, Wan Heng Ghana Ltd. skipped paying almost GH 500 million in value-added tax (VAT) and income tax between 2018 and 2021.

According to Ghana regulations Authority (GSA) regulations, the company imported enough clinker to build and sell GH1.36 billion worth of cement, but only claimed GH223 million in revenue, an 84 percent understatement of their true earnings. According to the GRA, the state lost out on $490 million in taxes as a result.

“The evidence we have gathered thus far paints a clear picture of deliberate tax evasion, with Wan Heng Ghana Ltd. grossly under-declaring their revenues and evading their tax obligations,” said a GRA official present during the investigation. Ghana’s efforts to increase domestic revenue and address serious economic difficulties are hampered by such illegal actions.

Wan Heng Ghana Ltd. is a member of the Chamber of Cement Producers Ghana (COCMAG), which in response to this situation emphasized the significance of all cement producers paying their taxes in order to help the government. They reaffirmed their dedication to fostering ethical behavior and competitive fairness in the cement sector.

The authorities assert that they are committed to protecting national integrity and defending the interests of the nation’s economy and that they are resolved to bring tax evaders to justice as investigations continue.