General News of 2014-08-07

Kessben CEO granted bail; passport seized

The Chief Executive Officer of Kessben Group of Companies, Kwabena Kesse, has been granted bail by an Accra High Court after being remanded into Police Custody for allegedly laundering $127 million within 14 months.

Mr. Kesse’s bail was set at 350,000,000 Ghana cedis with four sureties - two of them to be justified by the Ghana Police. The court has also directed the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to confiscate his passport and report to the Police on Mondays.

Mr. Kesse was arrested Tuesday, July 29, 2014 with three officials of the Stanbic Bank for allegedly facilitating the laundering of the said cash.

Mr. Kesse was last Thursday charged for Money Laundering and forgery of documents.

A source at the BNI earlier revealed that Kesse, through one of its companies, KESSBEN Shipping, Forwarding and Trading Limited (KSFTL), allegedly engaged in “fraudulent documentation to facilitate the outward transfer of large volumes of foreign exchange to spurious and phony addresses, using its bank account with Stanbic Bank.”

According to the BNI, Kesse committed the allegedly fraudulent acts between January 2013 and February 2014.

“In 2013 alone, the company transferred $112,814,179.65 through the bank to so-called shippers, whereas the invoices issued did not bear the official addresses and telephone numbers of the shippers. Yet still, in January 2013 and February 2014, the company transferred $15,117.548 out of the country under similar pretences. Interestingly, some of the shippers referred to by the company were individuals rather than firms or business entities,” the preliminary facts of the case noted.

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