General News of 2014-01-18

Gold scandal: National Security clears Mahama

President John Mahama did not ferry 1.5 tonnes of Ghana’s gold to Tehran as payment for an alleged unknown financial commitment to the Government of Iran, the West African country’s National Security Council has said.
At a press briefing on the matter on Friday, an official of the Council, Mr Marcus Awelinga said investigators found no gold in any of the 30 boxes which allegedly contained the gold.
He said investigators rather found that the boxes contained substances whose chemical components comprised 0.468 per cent of zinc, 1.24 per cent of tin, 0.310 per cent of iron, 0.101 per cent of silicon, 0.644 per cent of copper, 0.031 per cent of aluminium, 0.25 per cent of gold and 96.13 per cent of nickel.
The NSC, according to Awelinga said the aircraft which ferried the alleged tonnes of gold took off from the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) at 10.20 p.m. on December 31, 2012.
He said checks conducted showed that the consignment was supplied by Omanye Gold Mining Limited (OGML) – an obscure registered company which could not be located - and not President Mahama.
Mr Awelinga said the Director of OGML, Mr Peter Kofi Bedzra, now deceased, admitted supplying “gold bars” and that they were loaded from the KIA.
He told Journalists that the consignment of the alleged gold consignment had been ferried back to Ghana from Dubai and was now in the custody of Aviance, awaiting clearance by OGML.
OGML, according to Aweling, had, however, sent a petition to court, claiming it was gold that it exported.
He added that OGML’s claims are being investigated.
National Security began the investigations following media allegations that started on December 31, 2012, that The President was involved in the alleged gold haulage.
The story surfaced following the detention of the consignment in Turkey when the flight crew failed to produce a valid airway bill on it.