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14.11.2005 Crime & Punishment

¢4.3 Billion Diverted To Personal Account

By Daily Graphic
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Further investigations into the activities of Nicholas Sakyi, the accountant attached to the Department of Urban Roads in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, have revealed that he diverted more than ¢4.3 billion withholding tax of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) into his personal account.

He diverted the amount between January 2000 and September 2005.

The highest diversion of IRS funds to his personal account was in 2004 when more than ¢2.2 billion was diverted into his company's account.

A source at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) told the news paper at the week-long audit of the cash book of the Department of Urban Roads.

Giving further breakdown of the illegal transactions, the source said in 2000, the suspect diverted about ¢72 million into his company's account.

It said in 2001, 2002 and 2003, Sakyi, who normally diverted the amounts by altering the IRS cheques into his company's name, transferred ¢69,997,245.96, ¢256,8113,504.40 and ¢878,006,024.36 respectively.

It said in 2004, the amount transferred was ¢2,246,862,373.46, while as of the time he was arrested in October this year, he had transferred ¢859,334,419.29 into his company's account.

The source said the investigations further revealed that initially Sakyi was diverting the IRS cheques into the account of a company whose name was given as I. R. Samuel and Sons Limited. He did that from January 2000 to June 2003.

It said the suspect changed the company from I.R. Samuel and Sons to T.R. Services Ltd and started paying subsequent amounts into that company's account from July 2003 till the time he was arrested this year.

According to the source, the investigations further revealed that apart from the diversion of the IRS cheques, the Department of Urban Roads also awarded another company of Sakyi's, NICKS Ventures Limited, some contract works between 2000 and 2004 for which the company was paid ¢511,046,195.88.

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