Law School Boss In ¢10bn Scandal
... Rice deal, money laundering and abuse of President's name The Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL), who is battling serious charges of money laundering and 'stealing' of $1.2 million belonging to a reputable American rice company, has told The Chronicle that he is tired of having to answer many people, following the failure to resolve the international deal that began nearly five years ago. The matter, last month, eventually landed on the desk of the Speaker of Parliament, after it had done the rounds at the Bureau of National Investigations, with the Inspector General of Police, The Council of State, and the Office of the President.
It involves the sale of 4,000 metric tonnes of rice from a US company, 3 Sigma to a local Ghanaian company, Scandinavian Ventures Limited. Sigma 3 in various petitions and supplications, has complained about the 'fraudulent and criminal non-payment by Ghanaian individuals, Nii Boye Adjetey and Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of your Government School of Law.'
According to the company, Mr. Ansa-Asare has utilized the name of President John Agyekum Kufuor to avoid payment for the rice received in Ghana.
Responding to charges that he is a name-dropper, who exploits the name of the President, Mr. Ansa-Asare rejected that tag in response to the SFO inquiries that he only told Dr. Campbell (President of Sigma 3) that, “I am well connected in the NPP and could assist him in… It is true I have been a member of the NPP since its inception.
My membership of the party and the role I have played in it have not been concealed by me. I however emphatically deny that I have used my membership of the party in the manner suggested by the complainant.' The company noted that after the U.S. government had given Ghana credit facilities and the company had shipped U.S. rice under the U.S. government assistance programme, these men had failed to pay the amount due.
In a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, and both the Majority and Minority in Parliament, and signed by the President of 3 SIGMA Incorporated, Dr. William D. Campbell, he said “In our many attempts to get these men to pay for the rice, we have been able to conclude that these men have avoided your country's taxes through accounts outside Ghana.”
When the Chronicle contacted the office of the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Abrefa Tawiah of the Speaker's Secretariat, confirmed acknowledging receipt of the petition.
He said the Speaker had directed him to send a copy of the petition to Mr. Ansah-Asare for his response to the allegations leveled again.
When the paper contacted Mr. Ansa-Asare he said the petition was without any merit and was a ploy to tarnish his reputation.
He said he was sick and tired of responding to the allegations since it had been raised over and over but due to the vagueness of the allegations no one wanted to give it any attention.
Further, the petition said 3 SIGMA had petitioned President Kufuor on February 24, last year and his Special Assistant, Mr. Dan B. Agyemang acknowledged receipt of their petition in April last year, and promised to assist.
Sigma 3 claims that they had reported the matter to the BNI which 'established a criminal element related to these men. The docket of this case has been in front of your attorney-general since September 2003 and no action has been taken. This supports Ansa Asare's claim of his personal friendships in your Government and that Ansa Asare is additionally untouchable in your country.'
Charges made by Sigma 3 that Ansa-Asare and his associate include 'we have been able to conclude that these men have avoided your country's taxes through accounts outside Ghana and committed tax and bank fraud toward your country and criminal fraud towards our company'.
William Campbell's 2004 notarized complaint copied to the then Chairman of the Council of State Professor Alex Kwapong specifically added that 'We are contacting members of Council because during his visit to the United States Mr. Ansa Asare claimed your President is his personal friend and told us that there would be no use in our trying to prosecute him or Mr. Adjetey in your country.'
Following the surfeit of complaints against him, Mr. Asare wrote a letter addressed to the President dated May 2004 in which he made interesting 'confessions'.
“I must confess that I carried the balance of $30,000.00 to Dr. Campbell.
In all he was given $90,000.00.' He further wrote to the President that '...apart from this $90,000.00, various transfers totaling about $312,000 were made to Sigma 3. These payments appear to have been confirmed by Dr. Campbell as can be evidenced by their confirmation to the BNI…Dr. Campbell appears to deny the payment of an amount of $60,000.00 wired into the account of 3Sigma in March 2001. It is alleged that the said cheque bounced. I have therefore attached herewith as exhibit '42' a photocopy of the said bank draft'.
Other correspondence sighted by this reporter affirms Sigma 3 as a 'reputable company known to several American congressmen who have refused to conduct business in the 'illegal manner proposed by Messrs Adjetey and Ansa Asare'.
Dr. Campbell who has strenuously insisted that Ansa -sare should only deal with him through approved legitimate and lawful sources advised Ansa-Asare to withdraw the monies they claimed to have wired, which he believed had been done through shady outlets and wire directly into a designated account. This was subsequently done, according to Ansa-Asare through The Trust Bank, Head office at Adabraka, Accra.
The multi-dimensional deal remains unresolved by press time, but Campbell has shown no let-up in his pursuit of the monies and is still awaiting substantial action from the law enforcement agencies.
Chronicle is following the matter, aspects of which has made the rounds in some media circles.
The Law School boss who is also the Director of Readwide, has stressed that he is a lawyer by profession and at the material time, a senior lecturer in the GSL and had always lived by the fruits of his professional efforts and not through political deals or influence.
He indicated that he was involved in the case as Solicitor and not as a member of Scandinavian Ventures and was authorized to deal as he did by the directors actively with the consent of Dr. Campbell.
“All the customs duties, clearing charges, rent, salaries, fees, accommodation in connection with the transaction were borne out from the proceeds of the sale,” he reiterated He conceded that all the transfers, which he assisted Scandinavian Ventures to make with the knowledge, concurrence and consent of Dr. Campbell were effected personally or through an account of Readwide Ltd, of which he is a member and Director.
He explained that without that, no transfers could have been made to 3 SIGMA because Scandinavian Ventures had no valid documents to support any intended transfer.