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20.11.2004 Business & Finance

Looting At Kintampo Rural Bank

By Chronicle

Shareholders call for A-G, SFO intervention

The Shareholders of the Kintampo Rural Bank have called on the Auditor General's Department, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and other relevant agencies responsible for checking corruption, to conduct a thorough investigation into the activities of the bank.

The disgruntled shareholders said any further delay by the auditors would spell the total doom of the bank.

The Chronicle sources alleged that some top officials of the bank were engaged in dubious means of enriching themselves from the shareholders contributions.

The deals included the use of stolen Payment Order of the bank to finance five employees of the bank to travel abroad, two of whom were allegedly paid ¢96 million to travel to the United States. The other three had also left the country after receiving unspecified amounts of money.

The aggrieved shareholders accused the Board of Directors of incompetence and appealed to the Bank of Ghana.

They said the former manager of the bank, Ms Joyce Agyemang, who was able to check corrupt practices, was subjected to unnecessary and baseless harassment until she left.

The shareholders threatened not to increase the salaries of the Board Members until investigations had been conducted.

They called for the reinstatement of Ms Agyemang, who is now with the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB), Accra.

In a telephone interview, the Board Chairman, Mr. Opoku denied any allegations of impropriety and described the conduct of the shareholders as "outrageous."

"For about 22 years, I have been the Board Chairman, there had not been a single time I and my group have embezzled or were accused of misappropriating monies at the bank," he said.

The chairman added, "before God and man, I and my team have had no intension to steal money from the bank and I know our hands are as clean as a white dove, therefore, I'm ever ready for any investigations from not only the SFO and Auditor General, but Osafo Maafo, the Finance Minister himself".

Mr. Kwaku Opoku advised the shareholders to exercise patience and wait for the result of the recent inspection of the affairs of the Board by the Bank of Ghana

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