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General News of Thursday, 10 June 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal’s name pops up in sale of overpriced vaccine to Ghana

Hollywood actor, Steven Seagal Hollywood actor, Steven Seagal

•A Norwegian tabloid says Ghana is procuring Sputnik V vaccines at a high price

• The report names popular Hollywood star Steven Seagal as one of the accomplices

• Seagal has denied knowing about the details of the said transaction


Steven Seagal, a former American film star who has since become a Russian citizen, has been named in a Norwegian tabloid Verden Gang (VG) report on an overpriced Sputnik V vaccine being sold to Ghana.

Seagal, the report says, is an important supporter of Vladimir Putin’s regime who now promotes weapon manufacturers in the Middle East.

According to the report, a 59-year-old Norwegian Businessman, Per Morten Hansen, is an acquaintance with the former Hollywood star which he speaks to at least every week.

“I speak with him [Steven Seagal] once a week,” says Hansen.

He indicated that he had arranged for the vaccines.

“I was a go-between and conveyed [the] vaccines to Ghana. I routed them… I had Steven route them. Bought five million doses,” Hansen said further.

VG indicated that Steven Seagal denies any involvement in or knowledge of [the] vaccine sales in Ghana.

Where did Per Morten Hansen meet Steven Seagal?

VG said Per Morten Hansen met the Hollywood star in 2015 at Belgrade national theatre in Serbia.

Steven Seagal was on stage to receive the Karic Brothers Award for his humanitarian work.

“It is really an honour to follow many leaders who have been awarded before me, such as Vladimir Putin and many other extraordinary people,” he said.

The award aims of becoming “Serbia’s version of the Nobel Prize” and was founded by two super-rich brothers.

Seagal and Hansen took photos together after the event.

In September 2019, a letter is sent from a 34-year-old Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum to Steven Seagal. This is the Sheikh who would later sell vaccines to Ghana.

“I refer you to my meeting with Per Morten Hansen, who I understand is a good friend of yours, and wish to invite you to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as soon as possible,” parts of the letter read.

Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum is described as a ‘second cousin’ to the ruler of Dubai.

“AL MAKTOUM is the ruling family in Dubai. Ahmed Dalmook is a relatively peripheral family member, as the ruler’s second cousin…

“The size of the young Sheikh’s fortune is unclear; while the richest Sheikh owns private planes, he rents.

“At the time the letter was sent, the Sheikh and Hansen have made several corresponding share purchases,” the report stated.

“I wish to discuss sectors for [a] mutual business co-operation and how we can potentially co-operate. I look forward to meeting you in Dubai,” the Sheikh writes to Seagal.

Three weeks later, Hansen posts a photo of himself and Seagal outside the Sheikh’s office.

When Hansen was later contacted by VG, he denied having been involved in the trade.

“I am not involved in the vaccine trade,” says Hansen.

“First of all, I have no interest in it […], it’s not my cup of tea,” he continues.

Hansen also denies having known or ever having spoken about the trade prior to VG contacting him.

When asked by VG, “You had also never heard of the deal?” he responded, “No, I have never been involved in any trade…If I have not been involved, then I have not…The information I have is what you have given me.”

A little later in the conversation, he states:

“What I’m interested in you understanding is that if you believe you have documentation that I have had anything to do with it, you can go ahead and print it, but then I have told you I do not.”

VG, then, asked further, according to what you have said, Steven Seagal has been involved in making this happen?

Hansen responded harshly, “No, no, that’s complete bullshit.”

VG subsequently informed Hansen about some audio conversation in their possession where he discusses his role in the trade.

The report stated, Lawyer Christian Flemmen Johansen of Elden Law Firm states that he represents both Steven Seagal and Per Morten Hansen in this matter. He has sent the following statement after VG confronted Hansen with the audio recording.

“I have discussed the matter with Steven Seagal and Per Morten Hansen. Seagal is clear that he has no knowledge of or involvement in the sale of vaccines to Ghana and has no further comments to the information in the story. Hansen states that he is not involved in the vaccine trade anywhere in the world.”

Background

A popular Norwegian website has alleged that Ghanaian government officials have signed an agreement to purchase Sputnik vaccines manufactured and produced in Russia for 19 dollars per dose instead of 10 dollars.

In a detailed report by the website, www.vg.no, the Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang Manu is reported to have signed the contract with an Emirati official who was involved in the sale of Gas Turbines to Ghana in the controversial Ameri deal and another wanted Norwegian citizen.

“The sample proves that the Sheikh has access to the coronavirus vaccine. A product sought after by every country in the world. Now, it is time for negotiations. Six days later, the Ministry of Health in Ghana signs an agreement with the Sheikh. They announce that they have reached an agreement regarding the purchase of 3.4 million vaccine doses.”

According to the website, the deal between the Government of Ghana and the two officials was arranged by another intermediary charged with money laundering in Norway.

When confronted by details of the price of the Sputnik vaccine, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Attah is reported to have answered that the government had a choice to make to protect the people of Ghana hence the decision to pay the $19 for the Sputnik vaccine.

“VG– The agreement with the Sheikh, do you view it as a sensible agreement? To pay 19 dollars per dose?

“Ofori Attah – I don’t know. You know, you are confronted with “the good guys” from the West not giving you any assurances of supply [of vaccines], and you have 30 million people and are to save lives. You know, it’s easy to sit somewhere else and say: Why are you doing this? But you need to make sure you protect your people. You manage that as well as you can. This is all a contrived and manufactured crisis because clearly there’s enough [vaccines] to go around if only there was equity and justice in what we are doing.”

Agyemang Manu on 28 April stated that Ghana was expected to take delivery of some 300,000 Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines to get the country’s vaccination programme back on track.

“We’re making efforts to get into the country some Russia type Sputnik, though we have made initial approaches and expecting some Sputnik to come in. They demonstrated availability and brought in the first 160,000 which is kept there and waiting for about 300,000 to come.

However, it is not known if the Sputnik vaccines ever arrived in Ghana as promised by the Health Minister. It is also not known if the vaccines are the same alleged to have been purchased for $19 instead of $10 per dose.

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