Crime & Punishment of Friday, 22 March 2013
A third suspect allegedly involved in the exportation of the 1,500 kg of gold to Turkey on Friday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.
Joseph Kwame Donkor, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) Constituency Chairman for Agona West has been charged with two counts of abetment.
Donkor is accused of assisting Peter Kofi Bedzra to export gold to Turkey. He has denied the charges and the court presided over by Mrs Patience Tetteh Mills admitted him to bail.
Donkor was granted bail in the sum of GHS100,000 with two sureties with one to be justified. He is to report once a week to the Bureau of National Investigations.
He is to re-appear on April 8.
Donkor’s appearance before the court brings the number of people arrested to three.
Peter Kofi Bedzra and Frank Mould have earlier been put before the same court.
Bedzra being held for forgery of documents, exportation and smuggling of minerals has denied the charge and is on GHC100,000 with two sureties.
Mould, a clearing agent had been remanded after pleading not guilty to altering of forged documents and abetment of crime.
Earlier Mr Teye Azu, Counsel for Donkor prayed the court to admit his client to bail as he was known and that he was the NPP Chairman for Agona West therefore would not escape.
Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham A. Annor, told the court that Mould operated at the Kotoka International Airport.
In December last year, one Valid Moradi Moghaddam and his partners, all Arabs, were in Ghana to buy gold.
Prosecution said they came into contact with Omanye Gold Mining Limited, who sold to them a quantity of gold weighing 1.5 tonnes valued at 52 million dollars.
Prosecution said the buyers packed the gold in 30 boxes to be exported to Dubai.
Mould, prosecution said, with intent to evade the requirement of the law, assisted Peter Kofi Bedzra to forge a Geological Survey Department certificate, a Bank of Ghana Foreign Exchange Form 4(a) and Goods Movement Certificate.
The three certificates enabled the movement of 30 boxes of gold to go through customs and other security checks at KIA and the gold bars were exported to Dubai on December 31, 2012.
Further investigation had disclosed that on December 29, last year a chartered flight arrived to carry the consignment to Dubai.
Donkor is said to have had knowledge of the arrival of the flight and as such made hotel reservation at Golden Tulip for seven crew members and paid for their bills.
Prosecution said on December 31, last year, Bedzra and one Believer together with others went to KIA to see to it that Mould processed the consignment for export.
Donkor kept communicating with Believer on phone until 2230 hours when the plane left the shore of Ghana with the 30 boxes of gold.
However the gold was intercepted and detained at Turkey because the documents accompanying the gold were not genuine. The documents include a Geological Survey Department certificate, bank of Ghana Foreign Exchange Form 4(a) and Gold Movement Certificate to facilitate the export of 1,500 kg.
Following an accusation that the government of Ghana was involved in the gold scandal, it ordered the BNI to commence investigations into the matter.