$1.3m gold scam: Victim accuses police of cover up
The victim of the alleged $1.3 million gold scam that led to the interdiction of the Legon Police Commander is accusing the police administration of cover up.
Director of Green Global Resources Ltd. the company at the center of the scandal, James Barbieri says three months after the interdiction, police investigation has stalled.
He also says the company has not been able to recover the cash nor the gold in question.
Addressing a media briefing in Accra, Tuesday, Mr Barbeiri is calling on the police administration to appoint a new investigator since he can no longer trust Inspector Lohdonu who is currently presiding over the case.
He said the seeming corrupt posturing by the security services is driving away investors from the country.
In March, 2017, the commander-in-charge of the East Legon Police Station, DSP Emmanuel Basintale, and six other junior police officers were arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for their alleged involvement in a gold fraud.
The seven police officers, according to police reports, connived with seven civilians to defraud some gold buyers to the tune of GH¢1,666,000.
The other suspects are RSM John Sovor, Corporal Baleto Buafuor, Lance Corporal Ignatius Asamoah Mensah, Detective Lance Corporal Cyrus Conduah, Detective Corporal John Maloni Juaba – all stationed at the East Legon Police Station and Detective Sergeant Charles Owusu Boateng of the Achimota School Police Station.
Their civilian counterparts are suspects Anthony Yaw Osei aka Wofa Osei, George Yeboah, Frederick Kofi AppIah aka Nana Adjei and William Hanson.
The rest are Nana Kofi Mensah, Joseph Boakye and Nana Adjei. Four others, including a supposed queen mother of Tarkwa, are said to be at large and on the wanted list of the police.
The then Director of Police Public Affairs, Superintendent Cephas Arthur, confirmed the arrest saying the police personnel and their civilian counterparts were arrested for their involvement in two separate gold fraud cases being investigated by the CID.
Three months after the arrest and interdiction of the suspects, the victim said nothing has been done in terms of prosecution.
In a statement read during the briefing, James Barbieri said attempts by his lawyer to get the previous IGP to get to the bottom of the matter failed.
"A lot of top senior officers and some other junior ranks including some BNI officers are alleged to be protecting the scammers and Mr Courage is allegedly bragging about his immunity from the whole police service and the courts,” the statement said.
He does not understand why the police service is still holding on to the gold.
“How come the gold which was tested before buying as real gold then in the hands of DSP Basintale turned to be fake when DSP. Basintale sent them for testing without Green Golden Resources Ltd. representatives at the Police Headquarters after weeks in his possession?
“Why did they only arrest the buyers of the gold and leave the sellers?
“If according to the police, the gold were stolen, why was the money not returned to the buyers, (Golden Resources)?
“Why were the buyers processed for court the next day, Monday and charged for buying stolen gold but the sellers were not arrested? he demanded explanations.
He pleaded with the president and the new IGP to intervene in the matter.
“We are also pleading with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director General of CID to change the Investigator handling the case, Inspector Lohdonu, for a new Investigator to take over because we have lost trust in the way he is handling it when we last met with him and the CID Boss a fortnight ago at the CID Headquarters,
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com