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General News Sat, 14 Oct 2017

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Accusing Otumfuo of money laundering premature – Ace Ankomah

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Private legal practitioner, Ace Anan Ankomah says it is wrong and premature for anyone to accuse the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, of committing a crime by breaching United Kingdom's (UK) laws by allegedly indulging in money laundering.

According to the lawyer, it would be unwise and unnecessary for people to tag him of such acts as the money rightfully belongs to him but should rather blame the banker for not doing his work diligently by following banking procedures.

Speaking on Joynews’ news analysis show ‘Newsfile’ on Saturday, Ace believes the stories circulating in the media about the King now are because of the banker’s irresponsible acts for not following the right protocol.

He indicated that “even if it’s from Ghana you cannot say from what you’ve seen that he’s done anything wrong. He says he called his banker and that’s what you do when you have your money. Oh banker, come for it. How the banker decided to transport it, which report to file or not to file is not within his control”.

“It is possible he knows about it but he doesn’t mind it being disclosed that he’s open with his transactions. Yes, I’ve banked this money, file all your AML reports, I don’t care. It’s not going to stop it, if they like they should ask me where I got the money from, I will justify it”.

“So some of the commentaries as well accusing him of crime is a bit premature, is unnecessary. For what I understand he called his banker, what happened is the banker’s responsibility and unfortunately, it has brought this story. That should not have happened if the banker had followed their protocol”, he said.

Meanwhile Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has described as untidy the manner in which the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu deposited an amount of £350,000 cash into his account at the Ghana International Bank in London, UK.

Commenting on the issue, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako admitted he doesn’t see anything wrong done by the Asantehene, added that the transaction could have been done in a much better way through the king’s bank in Ghana to his account at the Ghana International Bank in the UK, that’s if the money was raised here in Ghana.

“The Nayiri, Yabonwura, they’re all overlords, but when it comes to that personality, their image, the value of their stature I would prefer that a transaction of this nature are not dealt with the way we’ve been told… I believe strongly with the benefit of hindsight, the great man will not do this again. He’ll not handle it with this mode of operation, that’s my feeling.”



Background

UK's Telegraph and Daily Mail, in the week, made shocking revelations about Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu's alleged involvement in money laundering.

A story was published in which the Asantehene is alleged to have deposited a cash amount of £200,000 and $200,000 into his account, breaching UK banking laws.

An official of the Ghana International Bank, Mark Frank Arthur, was dismissed after the Ashanti King allegedly gave him £350,000 to be physically transferred into the monarch's UK account.

The aggrieved banker, a dual citizen of the UK and Ghana, reportedly drove to his own home with the cash and then took it in an Uber taxi to the Ghana International Bank's city offices for deposit in Otumfuo's account.

The issue was disclosed in an ongoing tribunal hearing involving Mark Arthur and the bank to ascertain the legality of his dismissal.

The Ghana International Bank (GhIB) in the United Kingdom, has formally apologised before a London Employment Tribunal, for stating that at the time the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II gave £350,000 to an executive director of the bank in August 2016, for it to be lodged in his account in the UK, the King was using an expired diplomatic passport.

The bank has also apologised for stating in its written evidence in the ongoing case, by stating that, it suspected the Asantehene of engaging in a “dodgy deal” with SAKA Company.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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