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02.05.2008 General News

SFO questions railway workers

By The Ghanaian Times
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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO), has invited three workers of the Ghana Railway Company (GRC) for questioning in connection with alleged financial impropriety and causing financial loss to the company.

They are, Christian Barnes, acting Financial Controller, Paul Afful Dadzie, Deputy Financial Controller in-charge of Revenue, and J. W. Myers, Chief Cashier.

Sources close to the GRC said that letters were sent to the three men on Monday evening inviting them to the offices of the SFO the following day. They all complied.

The sources said that two of them were released after they had written their statements but Mr. Myers was detained overnight and released on Wednesday at about 4 p.m. He was asked to report next Monday, May 5, with some documents for verification.

Recently, a group of railway workers calling itself the "Concerned workers of Railways" called for a forensic audit to check financial impropriety in the GRC.

They alleged that several thousands of Ghana cedis had been stolen by some workers of the company, some of whom, they said, were leading the agitation against the management in order to conceal their malfeasance.

The concerned workers alleged that some members of the present leadership of the workers union, the Interim Management Committee (IMC) who had stolen money from the company's cash office feared being exposed hence the agitation.

The Times learnt that in January, a shortfall of GH ¢455,000 was detected at the cash office of the company, and when Mr. Myers was confronted, he told management that the amount was used for voucher payments.

Mr Myers was said to have been asked to hand over on January 25 to his counterpart and to account for all the money that he had received at the cash office, including the shortfall.

He was alleged to have pleaded with management to extend the handing over period to February ending and management obliged. Not long afterwards, the workers embarked on the recent strike.

When contacted, K. B. Amofah, Deputy Managing Director who is now acting as the Managing Director, confirmed that the three workers had been questioned by the SFO, adding that on Wednesday, some SFO officials came to the company to collect some registers and documents.

He said it was at this juncture that he asked about the whereabouts of Mr. Myers, and he was told that Mr. Myers could not be released unless he was bailed.

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