There was drama, exhibition of state power and a show of human strength in Kumasi Wednesday, when a female spare parts dealer at Suame declined to pay her taxes and rather asked the state to first collect the amount it paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a businessman, before coming to collect taxes from her.
Ms Doreen Tieku Frimpong, the owner of Doreen Enterprise, had failed to honour her tax obligation of GH¢168,500 from 2008 to 2013.
When tax collectors, supported by the police, went to lock her shop, she resisted them. The incident was the second within a month in which Ms Frimpong had prevented tax collectors from locking up her shop.
She was eventually arrested and put behind bars for breaking state seals and padlocks, as well as preventing the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) from locking her shop up.
Before her arrest, the very stocky Ms Frimpong had poured invectives on the officers of the Special Mobilization Task Force of the GRA immediately she set eyes on them and wondered why the state would insist that she paid her taxes.
She vowed not to pay a pesewa of the amount and asked the task force to take court action against her.
The business woman caused a stir when she laid down in a supine position in her shop to protest against the action of the tax officials and the police.
It took three armed policemen, with the support of some GRA officers, about 10 minutes to literally carry her huge frame from the floor of her shop and forcibly make her walk towards the waiting car.
Surprisingly, the almost exhausted and visibly panting policemen exhibited a great sense of professionalism and care to ensure that Ms Frimpong was neither hurt nor any part of her body was exposed.
Ms Frimpong’s shop was first sealed off with GRA padlocks and branded tapes on September17, 2015, but without any payment or authorisation from the GRA, as required by law, she broke all the padlocks and removed the state seal and proceeded with business.
According to Mr Henry Sam, the leader of the special task force, Ms Frimpong was not around the first time and that she was expected to visit the GRA offices to discuss a payment protocol, but nothing like that happened.
Earlier in the day, the team had closed down the Silver Lobster Restaurant, also known as KCCR Restaurant, for issuing VAT receipts but failing to account for GH¢116, 661 from May to September 2015.
Mr Sam expressed shock that the management refused to heed to wise counsel after he had personally gone to the restaurant on several occasions to send its management reminders about its tax indebtedness.
He announced that the management of the restaurant would be arrested and put before the law court for also issuing ordinary receipts without the express authorization of the GRA.
Credit: Graphic Online