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General News of Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Probing Otumfuo’s £350,000 transaction needless – Otuo Acheampong

A Banking consultant and Head of the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education and Research, Nana Otuo Acheampong, has downplayed the need for any probe of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, following a transaction in the UK that prompted speculation that he may have been involved in money laundering.

Breached regulations within the Ghana International Bank were noted when a transaction was carried out in August 2016, on behalf of the Asantehene, reportedly involving £350,000.

The bank official involved, Mark Arthur, was subsequently suspended and later sacked for not following anti-money laundering rules.

Before a tribunal, where he is alleging wrongful dismissal, among others, Mark Arthur alleged that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the holder of a diplomatic passport, told him the cash had been withdrawn from banks in Ghana and brought to the UK.

Despite the amount in question, Mr. Otuo Acheampong noted on Eyewitness News that there was no need for regulatory authorities like the Financial Intelligence Centre to pursue the matter because of the allegations.

As an example, Financial institutions are to report all cash transactions within Ghana with a threshold of GH¢20,000, or amounts as may be determined by the BOG from time to time, to the Financial Intelligence Centre.

The Financial Intelligence Centre is mandated by law to request, receive, analyse, interpret and disseminate financial intelligence in Ghana and abroad.

Preferential treatment

But Mr. Otuo Acheampong said customers could be “treated differently, therefore, whilst it [an amount] may be too much for me, because of my record, it may be okay for you because of your record.”

He couldn’t speak to whether there was permission sought or whether it was given for the alleged transactions by the Asantehene, but he said, “as far as the Ghanaian authorities are concerned, nothing sinister has been brought against the king. As far as the British authorities are concerned, nothing has been brought against him.”

“At the core is the breach of internal procedures at the Ghana International Bank,” Mr. Otuo Acheampong added, thus, the Financial Intelligence Centre did “not necessarily” have to look into the matter.

He also reminded that “we don’t know whether even that money was sourced in the UK or was sourced in Ghana. What you are alluding to is what the claimant [Mark Athur] proffered.”

The Ghana International Bank has since said there has been no suggestion of money laundering allegations in its litigation with its former employee, Mark. Arthur.