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16.10.2019 Business & Finance

This Is How Ato Essien Allegedly Squandered ¢130m Meant To Save Capital Bank

By News Desk
William Ato Essien
OCT 16, 2019 BUSINESS & FINANCE

JoyNews reproduced the facts of the case as presented by the state in the trial of the founder of defunct Capital Bank Ato Essien and three others. They have been slapped with 26 charges including stealing of various sums in excess of ¢260 million.

Republic

vs

  1. William Ato Essien
  1. Tetteh Nettey
  2. Fitzgerald Odonkor
  3. Kate Quartey-Papafio

FACTS

The 1st accused person, William Ato Essien was the majority shareholder of Capital Bank Limited (Capital Bank), a wholly-owned Ghanaian bank which previously operated as a microfinance company. The 2nd accused person, Tetteh Nettey, was the Managing Director of MC of Management Service, a company established by the 1st accused person purposely for the promotion of the incorporation of Sovereign Bank, another brainchild of the 1st accused person. The 3rd accused person, Fitzgerald Odonkor, was the Managing Director of Capital Bank from June 2015 to August 2017. The 4th accused person, Kate Quartey-Papafio is a businesswoman and Chief Executive Officer of Reroy Cables Company Limited.

Between June 2015 and November 2016, pursuant to an application by Capital Bank, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) provided a total sum of GHS 620 million as liquidity support to Capital Bank to enable it to meet its capital adequacy ratio and to enable it to service its maturing debt obligations.

In October 2015, the 1st accused person, aided by the 3rd accused person, caused a transfer of a sum of GHS 120 million of the liquidity support amount to All Time Capital Limited (All Time), investment management and advisory firm. At the instance of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons, ¢100 million of the ¢120million which had been transferred to All Time, was further transferred to MC Management Services while ¢20million of the amount of ¢120 million was transferred to Pronto Construction and Supplies Limited (Pronto Construction).

The sum of GHS 100 million which was transferred to MC Management Services was subsequently represented by the 2nd accused person to BOG as initial Capital of Sovereign Bank while the ¢20 million that was transferred to Pronto Construction was used by the Managing Director of Pronto Construction, ostensibly to purchase shares in Capital Bank.

Again, at the instance of the 1st and 3rd accused persons, ¢65million out of the BOG liquidity support of ¢620 million was transferred to Nordea Capital Limited described as an investment bank. Of the amount of ¢65 million, the 1st accused person, aided by the 3rd accused person, caused ¢30 million to be transferred to MC Management Services which was represented to BOG as an additional initial capital of Sovereign Bank by the 2nd accused person.

With the aid of the 3rd accused person, the remaining ¢35 million of the ¢65 million was paid into a Fidelity Bank account of Brietling Services, a company also established by the 1st accused person. At the request of the 1st accused person, the amount of ¢35 million which was transferred into the account of Brietling Services was subsequently transferred to Capital Africa Group, a company owned by the 1st accused person.

The total amount of ¢130 million which was represented as initial capital of Sovereign Bank was eventually channelled by the 1st and 2nd accused persons into Capital Africa Group, the 1st accused person’s company, less bank charges. The monies transferred into Capital Africa Group was eventually dissipated by the 1st and 2nd accused persons.

Between June 2015 and October 2016, the 1st accused person, with the support of the 3rd accused person, appropriated a total of GHS27.5million of the liquidity support which was conveyed in jute bags to the 1st accused person and purportedly used as payment for business promotion.

In June 2017, in furtherance of the conversion of portions of the ¢620 million liquidity support, the 1st accused person caused a sum of GHS100 million to be paid into a Capital Bank account held by the Managing Director of the following three companies; Maripoma Enterprise Limited, Hardwick Limited and Volta Impex Enterprise Limited opened purposely to receive the amount. The ¢100 million was to be used by the Managing Director of the three companies ostensibly as payment for 30% shares in Capital Bank.

As a cover-up of the conversion, the 1st accused person prevailed on the Managing Director of the companies to submit copies of Government Payment Certificates of the three (3) companies valued at ¢135million to be discounted to ¢105 million by Capital Bank, to be used as collateral for the purported loan of ¢100 million.

The 1st accused person then caused ¢70 million out of the GHS 100 million that had been previously paid into the Managing Director’s account at Capital Bank, to be transferred to the 4th accused person’s account with Calbank Limited.

The 1st and 4th accused persons subsequently caused the amount of ¢70 million in the Calbank account of the 4th accused person to be further transferred into a personal account of the 4th accused person purposely opened at Capital Bank to receive the amount.

Sometime in 2017 after Capital Bank had gone into receivership, the 4th accused person even though fully aware that Capital bank had gone into liquidation, attempted to withdraw the whole amount of ¢70 million which had been lodged in her personal account with Capital Bank but was however prevented from doing so by the receivers.

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