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Lands Commission Interdicts 14 Staff Members For Stamp Duty Fraud, as it Aims at Image Change

The Lands Commission says 14 members of its staff have been interdicted for engaging in Stamp Duty fraud, after an audit in 2022 discovered disparities in tax figures paid by some property owners for registration.

At the Commission’s annual briefing, Acting Executive Secretary Benjamin Arthur said the alleged fraud involved a GH¢100 million tax loss.

“It is important to state that while management will continue to provide the required job security for staff, such acts of indiscipline and fraud will not be condoned. Therefore, management will provide the state investigation bodies with the required assistance to weed out the bad nuts among us,” Arthur said.

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The organisation adds that while further disciplinary processes are ongoing against the suspects, the National Investigations Bureau is investigating the matter while they remain in detention.

A Commission plagued by many issues

The Lands Commission, like many other state institutions has be plagued with many issues – from structural delays, to issues of missing files and perhaps the biggest of them all: bribery and corruption.

A United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Ghana Statistical Service report recently ranked the commission the top most corrupt state institution in Ghana.

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But Arthur says the commission hopes to change those narratives by riding on corporate image campaigns this year as part of its five-year Business Strategic Plan.

“In Ghana, workers of the Lands Commission are perceived as taking the “biggest bribes,” and other media reports on the performance of the Commission often focused on our shortcomings, while little is reported on the efforts and good works of the Commission,” he said as they look to do more awareness campaigns hoping to end what he says is bad press.

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