General News of Thursday, 12 October 2017

Source: Starrfmonline.com

£350k scandal: Asantehene is innocent – Sacked bank official

Otumfuor Osei Tutu3 Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

The sacked official of the Ghana International Bank in the UK Mark Arthur has said the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu is innocent in the cash transaction that subsequently got him to lose his job.

Mr. Arthur was dismissed after the traditional ruler of the Kingdom of Ashanti, summoned him to his multimillion-pound residence in Henley-on-Thames and handed him a bag containing almost £200,000 in sterling as well as $200,000 in US currency for saving at the bank.

The aggrieved banker, from New Barnet, Hertfordshire, a dual citizen of the UK and Ghana, drove to his own home with the cash and then took it in an Uber taxi to the bank’s City offices for deposit in the king’s account, he told an employment tribunal.

In a statement submitted to the court Thursday and cited by Starr News, Mr Arthur Insists he also did nothing wrong in the huge financial transaction.

“Mr Arthur’s position throughout his suspension, investigation, disciplinary process and the Employment Tribunal hearing is that he had done nothing wrong.

“Mr Arthur has consistently confirmed in evidence that at no time did he suspect that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, did anything wrong,” portions of the statement said.

Below are details of the statement

All evidence, in this case, has now been given to the Employment Tribunal which will soon retire to consider its’ decision.

Mr Arthur’s position throughout his suspension, investigation, disciplinary process and the Employment Tribunal hearing is that he had done nothing wrong.

Mr Arthur has consistently confirmed in evidence that at no time did he suspect that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, did anything wrong.

Mr Arthur’s evidence through the investigation, disciplinary and at the tribunal hearing makes it clear that the CEO of the bank, Mr Joe Mensah, approved the transactions before completion in accordance with the King’s instructions and did not think that there was suspicious activity.

The banks’ position is that Mr Mensah did not approve the transactions. The morning after the transaction and following an internal conversation with other members of his senior staff, Mr Mensah changed his position and reported the transactions to the UK authorities as being suspicious.

There is a conflict between the evidence that Mr Arthur and Mr Mensah have given regarding whether or not Mr Mensah approved the transactions and Mr Arthur has asked the Employment Tribunal to decide which of the two is telling the truth.

It should be noted that Mr Mensah decided not to give any evidence at the Employment Tribunal hearing, even though he was and should have been the bank’s number one witness as he was central to the events that have unfolded.

The person that Mr Mensah retained to conduct the disciplinary hearing of Mr Arthur, Mr Peter Haines (former chairman of the Bank’s Board Audit Risk & Compliance Committee) also decided not to make himself available in person to the tribunal to give evidence and to be cross examined.

Mr Haines’ directorship was not however renewed shortly after his decision to dismiss Mr Arthur.

Mr Arthur has confirmed to the Employment Tribunal that the collection and transportation of cash from the Asantehene’s residence (transported by Uber taxi) was not in breach of the bank’s insurance policies. The bank however relies on an insurance proposal and not the actual insurance policy itself (the latter of which Mr Arthur asserts supports his position).

Mr Arthur believes that the Employment Tribunal decision when delivered will demonstrate that the transactions involving the Asantehene’s account were above the suspicions cited by the bank. It is important to note however that the Employment Tribunal has not been asked to determine the nature of those transactions, those transactions merely create the background relating to the employment issues that the Employment Tribunal has to decide.