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08.04.2005 General News

The “Mahindra” Police Vehicles

By Ghana Palaver

—Who is “Lawrence Boateng” involved in the deal?

It was reported on Wednesday March 2, 2005 that the Ghana Police Service had received 75 vehicles valued at US$1.5 million from a company called Paramount Logistics Corporation, a South African firm.

The report stated that the “Mahindra Bolero” and “Scorpio” four wheel drive vehicles constituted the first consignment of a US$21.4 million package to be given to the Ghana Police Service, and that the package also included acquisition of aircraft, communication gadgets, computers and accessories and training of police personnel, among other things.

According to the report, the Country Director of Paramount Logistics Corporation, Mr. Lawrence Boateng, stated that his Company had been assisting institutions, including the Ghana Armed Forces, and said the vehicles that had been offered to the Ghana Police Service represented a long-standing relationship between Ghana and South Africa.

It was also reported that the receipt of the package was a follow-up of a visit that the former IGP, Nana Owusu Nsiah, and the former Minister of Interior, Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, paid to South Africa in September 2003.

Reliable 'Ghana Palaver' sources inside the Ministry of Interior and the Ghana Police Service have however raised questions and asked 'The Ghana Palaver' to also raise questions about the 'Mahindra' vehicles.

According to our sources, the 'Mahindra” vehicles are an antiquated, outdated and obsolete brand of vehicles manufactured in India and used only in India and nowhere else in the world apart from previously in Apartheid South Africa.

Our sources also say that at US$20,000 per unit, the vehicles are extremely expensive and that at best, they should not cost more than US$10,000 per unit.

Our sources have also alerted us to the possible dubious nature of the vendor company, Paramount Logistics Corporation, and requested us to inquire into the details of the package as well as the terms of the package.

Our sources are emphatic that whether in terms of quality, performance or value for money, “the 'Mahindra' is not the vehicle”.

According to our sources, it would also be interesting to find out who Lawrence Boateng is who is alleged to have been assisting institutions, including the Ghana Armed Forces, and is now helping the Ghana Police Service.

It will be recalled that when the NPP assumed power in 2001, the NDC Government, through the then Minister of Interior, Nii Okaija Adamafio, and the then IGP, Peter Nanfuri, had similarly negotiated a supplier's credit contract with a South African company for the supply of vehicles and other equipment to the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Prisons Service.

The NPP Government raised an alarm about the arrangement, caused an investigation to be conducted into the transaction, and announced the prosecution of the two former political office holders, both of whom are lawyers by profession.

Nothing has been heard of the threatened prosecution since.

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