For the past few years, many Western Europeans have come to the point where they believe that, compared to the rest of the world, their societies are much much much less corrupt.
And it is hard to argue against that position in light of the evidence of strong, independent and markedly transparent systems and institutions of governance. Nonetheless, it is also interesting, the level of financial clout that the political establishment of the west has.
When you take a look at their salaries, and the financial clout that the establishment has, something just doesn't add up. Where is all that financial firepower coming from. You could speak of the military industrial complex, vis à vis, the complex web of lobbyists and politicians but that would only go as far as explaining a few political dynasties and manufacturing monopolies.
The inexplicable wealth among the political class is quite widespread, so where is it all coming from, and how do so many of them come to have such significant interests in private equity funds around the world anyway?
Well, at home, corruption has become a very dangerous business that local prosecutors and political opponents would gladly exploit as their ticket to stardom. But like lawyers say, there's always a loophole; And that loophole at this point in history, is the easy route of siphoning taxpayers' taxes, through what is popularly called, development assistance programs in third world countries, into their private bank accounts.
Now you may be wondering what the country Ghana and PDS, as mentioned in the headline, have to do with all of this sophisticated fraud. And you may be thinking, who or what the heck is PDS anyway?
Ghana, a third world west African nation of some estimated 30 million people, has become one of the several stages in this rather elaborate theatre of fraud "investment". As they say, when you want to understand financial fraud, just "follow the money", and we'll follow just a tiny bit of the iceberg which was floated through the waters of Ghana.
George Walker Bush jnr, the former President of the United States, during his time in office, decided to set up a development assistance program for third world countries who exhibited the qualities of "good governance" and democratic virtues. He called it, the Millennium Challenge Account(MCA). To oversee this 'noble' and rather 'altruistic' gesture by the American people who will be forking out billions of dollars to poor, mostly African countries, the Bush administration set up what it called the Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC). Third world countries who believed they qualified, by the criteria set out by the MCC, could apply to access funds from the MCA.
In 2006, Ghana's president John Kufuor successfully reached a compact with the MCC, to receive about half a billion dollars of US taxpayers money. Over $360 million of that was used to fund the construction of a very important N1 highway named the George Walker Bush Jnr. Highway.
All seems well and good up to this point, until you discover which company it is that constructed this major multi-million dollar highway. It is called, China Railway Wuju Group Co. Ltd.
How on earth will Americans pack bags of literally free money in the hundreds of millions, and hand it over to a CHINESE company. Why should CHINESE and not American workers prosper from American taxpayers' benevolence…
On the face of it, it may appear as though, the Ghanaian government at the time, showed bad faith at worst, or a serious lapse in judgement at best. Either of which would be quite unfortunate but that is not it at all. It is just a smoke screen, and you'll come to understand in a little while.
Fast forward, in 2015 the Obama administration continued with the program, and another Ghanaian government led by president John Mahama successfully reached a second compact with the MCC, to access again, about half a billion dollars from the MCA. He lost the presidential elections in 2016 in a bid to go for a second term, and so could not implement the program for which he successfully accessed the funds.
The new president Akufo Addo took over as president and had the responsibility of implementing the program of applying the funds which MCC would release in tranches at various stages of implementation. This time around it was supposed to be used to upgrade Ghana's energy grid, to meet current electricity demands. A major component of the plan was the effective privatisation of the Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG), which has assets whose value is estimated at being between $2 - $4 billion US dollars.
ECG was handed over to a private consortium, made up of Ghanaian, Angolan and Philipino companies, called Power Distribution Services(PDS), by the Akufo Addo administration. This was after the bidding criteria for interested companies was continuously altered until all other companies were frustrated and so withdrew their bid, or were Disqualified. Leaving PDS alone to go through to the final stage of the bidding process to win. After winning, the very stringent conditions precedent which forced others to withdraw, were subsequently watered down, taken out altogether or changed from conditions precedent to conditions subsequent, to taking over of ECG's assets and operations, after a private meeting between PDS, the finance minister(who is the president's direct cousin), and the vice president to Akufo Addo. This is all, now public domain knowledge and in the government's own official reports.
For there to remain a Ghanaian interest in the ownership of this huge national asset, makes sense; but again, why would American taxpayers literally give away free money in the hundreds of millions of US dollars to Angola and Philippines.
It turns out that, the crime family in power, led by Akufo Addo is already engaged in what experts describe as a massive attempt at state capture; appointing his family members as heads of practically every institution of state where he has means to so do. Upon seeing the opportunity to own one of the nation's biggest assets, i.e. ECG, he set up an elaborate front of shell companies manned by family and cronies, including the Angolan company, which form half of the consortium.
Now here is where the Western political establishment joins in the front; it turns out that the Philippines company, incorporated and operating in the Philippines, called MERALCO(Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company) has been an American old money front for years, set up in 1902 and operating in the Philippines, when the Philippines was an American colony.
It makes interesting reading, when one digs further to see who the beneficial owners of this Philipino or rather, American companies are, and to whom they are politically connected. In a similar vein, it makes for interesting reading, to see who the beneficial owners of the Chinese company which constructed the N1 under the first compact are. They all lead you eventually to the American political establishment, when you lift the veils of incorporation.
Is it not curious, that Joe Biden's son was a board member of a major Energy company, Burisma, in Ukraine for 5 years and yet in all that time, he never set foot in Ukraine… And until a few days ago, he was on some Chinese fund's board until the position became a political liability…
Anyway, the Ghana deal was scuppered because the crime family in power got too greedy, and tried to kick the American interest MERALCO out of the consortium, by replacing them with another family front set out in Hong Kong. As things stand now, the American government has effectively withdrawn from the compact. Exposing the Ghana government to international shame and ridicule for it's inordinate greed and corruption.
The systems for fighting corruption may have matured significantly at home for western politicians, but they definitely are not in the developing world. And because of that reason, they have become conduits for what in effect, can only be described as plausibly deniable fraud. All Western politicians need to do, pick up the phone and find a few amenable third world leaders. And those come a dime a dozen.
A new age of conscientious global activists and thought leaders would have to emerge to deal with this clandestine form of robbing the working European families. It will take quite some doing.