Ghana’s tax authority ‘closes down’ internet provider Surfline
Ghana’s government tax-collecting agency has shut down a wireless broadband operator, Surfline, because of unpaid taxes, according to reports.
Surfline owes the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) the equivalent of $7.6 million for unpaid taxes over several years, says the Ecofin news agency.
Surfline Ghana is not connected with the surfing equipment company Surfline,
Capacity has contacted the Ghanaian company Surfline, whose website is still active and which is continuing to tweet, for a comment but has not received a reply.
Ecofin quotes Kwasi Bobia-Ansah, GRA’s deputy commissioner for communications and public relations, saying that Surfline’s premises have been sealed “because the company showed no willingness to solve the problem of its debts during the 10-day period granted to it to comply”. Bobia-Ansah added, according to the agency: “This is one of the last tools we have.”
Surfline says on its website that it was set up in 2011 “to provide premium quality wireless broadband connectivity to the Ghanaian market” and notes it has a broadband wireless licence dating from 2012 from the country’s National Communications Authority (NCA).
“Surfline launched to immediately become the first 4G LTE company in Ghana and leading single largest LTE ever deployed in Sub-Saharan Africa with world class strategic partners such as IBM, Alcatel Lucent, Microsoft and Huawei,” says the website.
The company site lists just three executives – an HR and administration director, a legal and regulatory affairs director and a network planning director – but names no current chairman, CEO, CFO or other director.
Ecofin also says that Nigerian operator Glo has paid more than a fifth of the $2 million in tax its Ghanaian subsidiary owes to the GRA.