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General News of Monday, 29 May 2006

Source: Raymond Archer (The Enquirer)

Prez Jet Smuggled to China?

?We didn?t evaluate Gulfstream III? -Conklin & de Decker
Chinese jets cost $20m each

The Vice President of Conklin & De Decker, David Wyndham has denied virtually every claim by Information and National Orientation Minister, Kwamena Bartels in respect of the sale of Ghana?s Gulfstream GIII jet to a Chinese company.

Conklin & de Decker have stated emphatically that they do not undertake aircraft valuation and could not have valued Ghana?s Gulfstream as claimed by the Minister.

The company?s Vice President in response to The Enquirer?s enquiries also denied any role and knowledge about a purported evaluation which might have been carried out by the government and which arrived at a $5M as the value of the aircraft.

The company has again refuted claims attributed to Conklin & de Decker by the Minister that the current going price for airworthy Gulfstream is USD$6.5 million and revealed that the prices of Gulfstream has gone up by 3% in the past year.

According to them, there are currently 23 Gulstreams listed for sale and the lowest going price is even higher than the amount Ghana is selling its Gulstream which is has been maintained and is in good condition.

?The Ghana Gulfstream GIII is serial number 0493, a 1986 model. The average value for a 1986 GulfStream GII (again according to Vref Values) is USD$7.0 million. This is a retail price.

? Currently, the Vref Aircraft Value reference (Guide for selling prices of Airplanes) shows Gulf Stream III values between USD$5.1 million to USD7.4? David Wyndham stated in response to The Enquirer?s enquiries.

Mr. Wyndham further stated that ?The values for airworthy Gulfstrem GIII aircraft can vary. Older aircraft in excellent condition can be worth more than the newer aircraft in poorer condition. The engines are costly to overhaul and the maintenance status of the engines can affect the aircraft value by several hundred thousand dollars?

?We do not perform aircraft appraisals and do not have the specific details of the Ghana aircraft other than the serial number? Conklin & de Deckers, said in an email to The Enquirer.

When The Enquirer contacted Mr. Bartels over the revelations from Conklin & de Decker, he said ?Raymond Archer, I not talking to you, I have nothing to do with you?

"Why?" Archer asked

?Because you are not the kind of journalist I want to have anything to do with? He concluded and hanged up the phone on Mr. Archer.


Last week, Information and National Orientation Minister, Mr. Kwamena Bartels, announced that the government of Ghana had traded-in the controversial Gulfstream GII for four K-8 (Karakorum 8) and a flight simulator.

According to a statement issued by Mr. Bartels last week, the aircraft had been valued at a cost of $5 M. The Aircraft is said to be with its ?current owners?
The new Information Minister last week quoted Conklin & de Decker as giving the value of the Gulf Stream as $6.5M, with sections of the media saying that the Gulfstream was sold at $5M because it of its age.

?... currently, the market price for an airworthy Gulfstream GII is $6.5M? Bartels quoted Conklin as saying and gave credibility to his claim by adding that Conkilin & de Decker are world acclaimed and approved valuers in the aviation. This claim has been denied by the Company.

It has also emerged that the sale of the Gulfstream as down payment for four K-8 aircrafts and a flight simulator was not referred to Parliament for scrutiny and approval.

The Constitution requires such international transactions to be laid before parliament for ?prior? approval. The NDC government also failed to seek prior approval for the purchase of the jet.

Parliament does not know the details of the sale and purchase but the Gulfstream has already been flown to the National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation in China, a company the Minister has described as ?new owners? It has also emerged that the unit price of a new K-8 jet is about $20 million.