(Business in Cameroon) - In an official press release just made public, the deputy Minister of Finance, Elung Paul Ché, denounces the activities of “ill-intentioned people organised into networks”, who “use multiple tricks and subterfuges to con senior civil servants of the Republic and economic operators, promising them the acquisition, under preferential conditions, of luxury vehicles in demurrage at the Customs offices” at the port of Douala, the economic capital of the country.
Indeed, after several warnings at the end of the recently ended year, the Cameroonian Customs administration started auctioning about 400 containers and other luxury vehicles (there were initially 800, but half was cleared by the owners after the Customs press releases) abandoned by importers at the port of Douala.
Auctions which are today subjected to various maneuvers. “There are people coming with recommendations or requests from high personalities, for the purchase of tens of containers at once. And this, at prices corresponding to nothing. These are sometimes false recommendations”, one of the persons in charge of this auction operation revealed to the pro-government daily.
Port regulars do not exclude that the real owners of containers or vehicles thus auctioned are hiding behind these potential buyers. As, we learned, this type of operation often enables importers who have abandoned their goods to buy them back at a lesser price, thus avoiding customs duties deemed too expensive.