Mr. Paul Bramford Gyamfi, a collector of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Wednesday indicted a colleague of stealing bicycles from a container at the Tema Port.
Testifying under cross-examination at the Justice Glenn Baddoo Committee in Accra, Mr Gyamfi said Mr Ishmael Gbodzor, a member of the container examination team might have stolen some bicycles that were put into
a nearby empty container for lack of space after an examination of the contents of a first container in November 2006.
Counsel, Mr Faustinus Kofi Koranteng, appearing for witness Mr Isaac Owusu-Yankah, had wanted to know the whereabouts of some bicycles, which were kept in the second container, but were neither found on list of items nor in the container, which his client later bought at an auction sale from the CEPS.
Mr Gyamfi had mentioned the names of one Mr Baisie, Mr Gottfried Djanie and Mr Thomas Kwabena Mpiani-Donkor and Mr Ishmael Gbodzor and himself as members of the team that did a first examination of the container.
Counsel indicated that the container, which his client bought at an auction on March 29, this year, were short of seven laptop computers, 92 Central Processing Units (CPU), four projectors and one used Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system, 31 used cameras and all three used video cameras, and suggested that Mr Gyamfi had collected those items and packed them into his car after the examination.
Mr Gyamfi rejected the suggestion as untrue, and said he was not aware that one flat screen and 150 used computer hard disc were damaged as Mr Owusu-Yankah had told the Committee.
The witness answered in the affirmative that it was a practice for private vehicles of the CEPS officials to go anywhere in the yard of the port, adding that they were checked at the main entry and when they were to exit the TOA and the ACS yards where examination of containers were done.
Mr Gyamfi agreed to a suggestion from Lawyer Koranteng that on the day of the examination of the items, which took place in the ACS yard his private car was not checked at the exit, explaining that the "security people" who did the checking at the exit were there at the examination.
When Counsel suggested that Mr Gyamfi was seen packing the items into his car and that he drove safely away without any checks at the exit points, Mr Gyamfi replied:
"I did not take anything into my car. Neither did I observe anybody putting anything into his car."
When Counsel brought the issue about some auctioned books to his client, Mr Gyamfi who had earlier said the books were in fairly good condition agreed that some of the books, which were at the base of the container were rather rain-soaked.
He disagreed with a suggestion that he demanded and collected 600,000 cedis before he signed the release document for the container of books.
Mr Gyamfi refused to accept culpability of CEPS, due to negligence for the losses incurred by Mr Owusu-Yankah.