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08.10.2003 Crime & Punishment

Indians Arrested Over Illegal Cash Export

By Graphic
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Personnel of the National Bureau of Investigations (BNI) have arrested an Indian businessman, Vijay Mirwani, at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), for allegedly attempting to illegally export large currencies to the United Arab Emirates.

The currencies, which were concealed in a large black polythene bag, were made up of £408,775 236,905 Euros, 900 Swiss Francs and 200 Canadian dollars.

His two accomplices, Gidwani Raju, alias Tolsyo, also an Indian, and a senior security officer of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, whose name has been withheld to allow for further investigations, have also been arrested.

According to a BNI source, Mirwani, a Director of Deepak Ghana Limited in Accra, and his accomplices were nabbed after several days of close surveillance. He was apprehended at the last checkpoint at KIA, on his way to board a Kenya Airways Flight KQ.502 to Dubai.

The source intimated that Mirwani and his colleague, Raju, told investigators that they obtained the foreign currency from a number of forex bureaux across Accra in bits.

The source said the two Indian businessmen admitted having exported foreign currencies on two occasions since they adopted this method of transacting business abroad.

Although they were aware that it was illegal to transfer such large sums of foreign currency out of the country, they felt that the exigencies of the business climate demanded that they took that risk.

Illegal exportation of large sums of foreign currency from the country, which is sometimes referred to as capital flight, has serious consequences on the country’s economic development.

Meanwhile, according to the source, the three arrested men have been granted bail pending further investigations while the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, had also issued seizure notice on the foreign currencies intercepted.

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