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19.05.2005 General News

JAK, Where Are You?

By The Enquirer

The Enquirer's investigation has revealed that the DCE for Kwahu South, Mr Raymond Sarfo Djan, has diverted over ¢400 million of the District Assembly's cash into his secret account which has yielded ¢140 Million.

Further investigations revealed that when the lid on the scandal was blown, the DCE told the bank to keep mute in exchange for the ¢400 million, saying that the assembly was not interested in the money.

As an additional booster to lure the distressed bank's management to drop investigations on the matter, the DCE promised to refund the ¢140 million interest he earned from the dubious deal. Even though the ¢400 million cheques which the DCE used to open the account indicated the money was from the District Assembly, sources from the Finance Committee of the Assembly told The Enquirer that they have no idea about the lodgment of the money at the bank. When The Enquirer contactd him over the scandal, the DCE refused to comment on the issue but rather spent the better part of his time persuading The Enquirer to drop the story.

"You see, the President is about to release the list of appointed DCE's If you publish this story, I am finished," he said. It all started when the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and Apex bank signaled that something crooked was going on at Dupong Rural Bank, and consequently, instituted independent investigations into the bank's operations. It was when the two banks went into the rural bank's accounts for the last quarter of last year that they discovered an unholy alliance between the bank's manager and the DCE. It is this unholy alliance which has, among other things, crippled the operations of the bank and saddled it with over ¢2.1 billion bad debt.

Explaining how the DCE went about the deal, insiders told The Enquirer that sometime last year, he connived with the bank's manager and dumped the ¢400 million belonging to the Kwahu South District Assembly with the Nkawkaw branch of the bank. He then opened an interest account with the Asakraka branch of the bank with an undisclosed account number, under a private name allowing him to withdraw a total of ¢140 million which represented interest accruing on the savings.

Records The Enquirer came across indicated that the bank's accomplice general manager paid the ¢140 million without consulting the branch manager. When the bank's interim manager assumed office following the interdiction of the previous one, he wrote to the district Assembly, pointing out that the assembly's ¢400 million transaction with the bank was fraudulent because there were no proper documents covering the deposit.

In reply, the DCE admitted his fault and agreed to refund the ¢140million being the total interest the bank paid on the ¢400million. In order to keep the lid on the scandal, the DCE is said to have dismissed anyone who knew about eh deal, or said anything about it. The dismissals have led to widespread discontent among the workers.

When The Enquirer contacted the new manager of the bank at Nkawkaw, he refused to comment on the issue, claiming that he had sworn an oath of secrecy not to divulge any information about the bank to the public unless compelled by a court of competent jurisdiction.

According to investigations, the old manager of the bank was at the DCE's beck and call as the DCE verbally instructed him to grant loans without guarantees. The loans ranged between ¢90million and ¢900million.

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