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27.11.2006 NDC News

Twists and turns in NDC MP's "fake gold" case

By gna
Twists and turns in NDC MP's
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The Accra Regional Police Command has denied that the National Democratic Congress MP for Sene, Felix Twumasi-Appiah who was arrested for allegedly attempting to sell fake gold to a businessman was detained on "orders from above."

Mr Douglas Akrofi-Asiedu, Accra Regional Police Commander has told the Ghana News Agency that, he was surprised that the MP had the audacity to "peddle such lies."

"I never know him, till after telling his story and mentioning his name, he added that he was an MP".

Mr Akrofi-Asiedu said, "I told him that for him to invite Mr Charles Dejoe the businessman to be defrauded, he could be held responsible for his actions."

He said his outfit took action before informing his superiors so the claim that the MP was detained on orders from above was not true but an attempt to put a spin on a purely criminal matter.

Mr. Felix Twumasi-Appiah, and three others were arrested for allegedly attempting to defraud a businessman by selling to him fake gold dust to the tune of 800,000 dollars.

The other suspects were Wallace Mensah, Kwantwi Barimah and Tony Delor.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Kwesi Ofori of the Police Public Relations Directorate told the Ghana News Agency that Mr Charles Dejoe, the complainant, said he was outside the country when the MP called him that he had 50 kilogrammes of gold to sell at 16,000 dollars per kilogramme.

Mr. Dejoe came to Ghana to buy the metal but suggested that the gold should be sent to the Geological Survey Department for testing.

Mr Ofori said the suspects suggested that a sample should be tested and after the test, Mr Dejoe requested that the whole quantity, packed in a metal box and sealed, should be tested as well, but Mr. Twumasi-Appiah objected.

Mr Ofori said the complainant became suspicious and informed the Police who stormed the Survey Department premises and arrested the suspects.

Speaking to the GNA at the Accra Regional Police Headquarters on Saturday, Mr Twumasi-Appiah said earlier in the month, a friend called him to say that he had some people who had 50 kilogrammes of gold to sell and whether he (Twumasi-Appiah) could get a buyer for the precious metal.

Mr Twumasi-Appiah, who is also an investment consultant, said he then got in touch with one Mr Charles Dejoe, a friend and a gold dealer, about the offer.

Mr Dejoe, he said, then told him that he was out of the country but that, in view of the quantity of gold involved, he would personally come down to Ghana for the transaction.

Mr Twumasi-Appiah said on Thursday, November 23, Mr Dejoe contacted him and he told him that the consignment was in.

Mr. Dejoe then asked that they should meet at the Geological Survey Department (GSD) to test the quality, quantity and carat level of the gold.

He said he got to the GSD on Friday after 1200 hours and met the said sellers of the gold numbering about six.

He said, in view of where Dejoe's office was located at East Legon, and the fact that he Twumasi-Appiah did not have enough time to spend at the GSD he called Dejoe to ask that he named someone at the GSD who would witness the test.

Dejoe gave him two names of the staff of GSD, but they were both not at work.

He then proceeded for testing of the sample of gold brought by the sellers as a representative of the buyer.

Mr Twumasi-Appiah said when Mr Dejoe finally arrived at the GSD premises he asked that the whole consignment be tested instead of just the sample at the expense of the sellers.

Mr. Dejoe then requested that the 50 kilogramme box which the sellers had brought to the GSD be opened, whilst he Twumasi-Appiah was in the laboratory.

He said Mr. Dejoe then called him in the laboratory and said that the sellers were not genuine people because they had refused his request for the box to be opened.

But to ensure that the sellers paid for the cost of testing the samples, and because both he and Dejoe had unspecified amounts of cash in their vehicles, he Twumasi-Appiah called the police to give them adequate protection, in case the sellers turned out to be fraudsters.

He said Mr. Dejoe also called the police 20 minutes after he had placed his call.

When the policemen he had called arrived, they were able to arrest and handcuff two of the sellers after four of them had bolted.

He said they were in the process of conveying the two sellers to the police station when the other policemen Mr Dejoe had called arrived and helped them to send them to the Accra Central Police Station.

Mr Twumasi-Appiah said at the station, he was waiting for the statements of the two suspects to be taken when he was informed that the Regional Commander, ACP Akrofi Asiedu wanted to see him, only to be told by the Commander that there was order from above to detain him.

He said he insisted to know by whose orders he was being detained but the police did not divulge that information to him.

He was detained from 2100 hours to 2300 hours and later called from the back of the counter to go home and to report at the same police station on Saturday but when the Regional Commander arrived at post he asked that he should report back on Monday, November 27.

He expressed amazement on how he had become the accused when he had requested the people to arrest the gold sellers.