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General News of Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Source: myjoyonline

Isaac Osei sparks debate: Did gov't launder $3m to Brazil?

A one time presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party suspects government ostensibly laundered $3 million to Brazil under the pretext of airlifting Black Stars’ appearance fees.

According to Isaac Osei, the government’s action smacks of money laundering, underscoring that transferring $3 million physical cash infringes on international law.

He also described the government’s decision, which has been defended by President Mahama, as “unbelievable” because it contravenes Ghana’s own laws.

A chartered jet flew more than $3 million to Brasilia, Brazil, to prevent a possible boycott of Black Stars’ game against Portugal, albeit Ghana lost the match 2-1. Armed escort guarded the money to the hotel the team had camped.

The country’s participation at the FIFA 2014 World Cup attracted international attention for the wrong reasons as the Black Stars’ behavior off the field overshadowed the three games they played in Brazil.

The $3 million cross-border transaction, which hoisted the nation up for international ridicule, has ruffled many feathers. An award-winning US writer, Darryl Wharton-Rigby, is even planning a Hollywood thriller on Ghana’s World Cup cash fiasco.

It is believed that issues surrounding the country’s abysmal performance at the world showpiece compelled President Mahama to reshuffle the Minister of Youth and Sports and his deputy.

“We are now the laughing stock of the world,” Isaac Osei, who is the Member of Parliament for Subin confirmed.

“You cannot carry so much [money], are you a drug dealer or what are you? Or a money launderer?” he teased government's action.

The government directed the FA to set up a committee to enquire about the country’s participation, but the Minority in Parliament have cast doubts about the committee, accusing the government of using it as a smokescreen to cover incompetence and wanton squandering of taxpayers’ money.

The Minority Ranking member on the Youth and Sports Committee, Isaac Asiamah, backed by the entire Minority, filed a motion in Parliament demanding a parliamentary enquiry into the team’s performance.