Rice importers in Ghana are making substantial gains from trade-based money laundering (TBML) according to local media.

Traders are employing under-declaration or under-invoicing techniques to cheat the system by declaring prices lower than the actual price of the rice at source.


One importer bought 500 kilogrammes of rice from Vietnam at US$572 per kilogramme, a total value of US$286,000.

But the importer under-declared the value of the shipment, saying it was bought at US$440 per kilogramme, giving it a total value of US$220,000.

Revenue losses

This meant that the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority calculated a duty of 45.9 per cent on US$220,000 rather than on US$286,000. So instead of paying a duty of US$131,000, the company paid just US$100,980, thereby avoiding paying US$30,294 in just one consignment.


Using a similar method across several consignments, another company whose identity has been withheld made at total of US$711,000 from its activities.

Traders are also using misclassification in TBML schemes by declaring, for example, that a shipment contains low-value white rice whereas in reality the shipment is of higher value long-grain fragrant rice.