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Beige-Bank trial: Prosecution demands proof to National Blood Service's consent to investment transfer  

  Thu, 13 Jun 2024
Headlines Beige-Bank trial: Prosecution demands proof to National Blood Service's consent to investment transfer  
THU, 13 JUN 2024 LISTEN

State prosecutors have demanded proof of the National Blood Service's consent to investment in the trial of Michael Nyinaku, Chief Executive Officer of the collapsed Beige Bank.

Ms Hilda Craig, a principal state attorney, asked a defence witness to produce documents to support the claim that the National Blood Service (NBS) gave its consent to the alleged siphoning of its investment from the Beige Bank to the Beige Capital Asset Management (BCAM).

She insisted that just as the defence could not provide evidence to the 200 other customers’ investments at his branch as a manager when their investments were allegedly moved to the account of the BCAM, a subsidiary of the Beige Group, it could not prove same for the NBS’ own.

The 200 customers at the witness’ branch are part of the over 10,000 customers alleged to have had their funds transferred into a different account without their consent.

The prosecution made the demand during the cross-examination of Mr Seth Adu Afram, a witness in the ongoing trial of Michael Nyinaku.

The cross examination followed the witness’ evidence-in-Chief, debunking his witness’ statement that it is not in bank practice to move a customer’s fund without his or her consent.

Though witness told the High Court presided over by Mrs Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal Judge with additional responsibility at the High Court, that he could not provide it because it is an internal document and he did not have access to the documents because he resigned a month after the receivership, an assertion the prosecution did not agree with.

He explained that his duty as a Manager started from where customers had agreed to the investment, then he would assist them to fill and their Internal Advisory Form (IAF), then, he would forward it to the Operations Department where the investment would be established.

From there a certificate was issued and “in this case,” he personally delivered the NBS certificate.

“In respect of the NBS, you have not brought any document to show that it agreed for its account to be debited,” prosecution said but witness disagreed and said,” the entity agreed that the investment be established, thus a certificate was issued which he personally delivered and it had no objection.”

Prosecution challenged witness that if the documents existed, he would have presented just as he presented the other documents as his evidence.

The witness prayed the Court to call the over 10,000 customers who prosecution claimed had been deceived to present their certificates because they had been issued with certificates, indicating that they were aware of their funds being transferred to BCAM.

Ms Craig put it to him that the customers placed their investment with the Beige Bank not BCAM but witness disagreed and said after the Bank was upgraded to a Universal bank from a Savings and Loans facility, it could not offer an interest rate the Savings and Loans offered therefore instead of losing them to competitors, they were advised to sell BCAM, a FD product, to them which he described as not being strange.

He cited Ecobank’s EDC’s product which was not sold all over Ghana but was sold through Ecobank, thus, the Beige Group (TBG) also sold BCAM to its subsidiaries who were ready to accept.

Prosecution pointed out that Ecobank in selling EDC product showed on the certificate that it sold that product to its customers but it was not so with TBG selling BCAM.

Mr Afram answered that the bank after transition, rebranded to become a one stop financial institution, thus customers knew where their investments were, adding that none of them had complained after being issued with certificates.

Prosecution again challenged the defence witness that there was no agreement between the Bank and BCAM in respect of the transfer of funds but witness could not speak to it because that decision, he said was taken at the management level.

“You are aware that CBG paid all the affected customers with funds provided by government,” Ms Craig asked but witness said he was not aware as he resigned a month after the receivership.

Prosecution also questioned why during the receivership, defence did not raise any issue with CBG that some of the customers had issues with the BCAM’s investment not the Bank so they should not be paid whatever investment they asked for.

Mr Afram said no customer whose investment had matured at that time was not paid.

Witness was queried as to why he was not a staff of BCAM yet he issued customers with certificates but he said he was only a facilitator to the investment processes.

GNA

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