General News of Thursday, 14 February 2013
The National Security Coordinator Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey says he suspects the 1.5 tons of gold ferried from Ghana and intercepted at Turkey may turn out to be a scam.
“My strong gut feeling is that this whole thing will turn out to be a scam”, Gbevlo Lartey told Joy FM in an interview on Thursday February 14.
He said the documentation backing the gold export from the Geological Survey Department indicated that the cargo was just rock samples of gold which had no commercial value.
He therefore said he strongly doubted if the cargo was real gold.
The 80 million dollar gold cargo sparked a wave of controversy in Ghana recently after Turkey officials impounded it aboard a North African Aircraft.
XYZ News broke the story of the arrest of two top officers of the Geological survey Department on Wednesday February 12, 2013 in connection with the gold scandal.
The two were picked up by operatives of the National Security on that afternoon.
They were Deputy Director Dr. Thomas Adu and Senior Technical Officer Justice Adom Akwah.
The government of Ghana was suspected to be behind the 1.5 tons of Gold which was en-route to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country with strict international trade restrictions but was seized in Turkey.
The cargo was allegedly meant to defray some financial obligations Ghana had toward Iran.
President Mahama launched investigations into the matter when the story broke and also debunked the financial commitment allegations.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the transaction was purely private with no official government involvement.
In an earlier statement by the Information Minister last week, Two Ghanaians – Peter Bedzrah and Fredrick Kojo Essumang, operating under the corporate identity of Omanye Gold Mining Ltd from a house at Tanta Hill in Achimota without visible signs of a corporate entity, were mentioned to be involved in a transaction to supply gold to one Vahid Moradi Moghaddam in Iran.