The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) yesterday destroyed seized foreign cigarettes and dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, estimated to cost GH¢136,880, at the Fuo Landfill Site in Tamale.
The items destroyed were seized by customs officials at the various entry points in the region last year.
The exercise was witnessed by officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the Police, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TaMA).
The Northern Region has three official entry points with Togo at Bunkpurugu, Tatale and Wujuga.
Briefing the Daily Graphic after the exercise, the Tamale Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the GRA, Dr Godfred Okoh-Appiah, said the dried leaves were said to have a street value of GH¢75,000 while the substandard foreign cigarettes were also valued at GH¢61,880, bringing the total value of the items destroyed to GH¢136,880.
He added that the items were abandoned by smugglers who were being pursued by customs officers at the various entry points in the region in 2016.
Dr Okoh-Appiah said the region had several unapproved routes which made patrolling difficult, especially in the dry season, but the officers were on high alert on the ground to clamp down on smugglers of contraband goods into the country through the various entry points.
He added that the command had intensified public education on the importation of goods by road through the various entry points in the region from neighbouring Togo.
He advised those who buy vehicles from Togo and bring them into the country by road through the region to consult with his office before doing so in order not to fall victim to unscrupulous individuals.