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General News Thu, 21 Nov 2002

Frozen Accounts Being Abused?

Investigations have established that monies that are part of frozen assets belonging to persons under investigations for fraud have been withdrawn by their owners. Some of the withdrawals were facilitated by the former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Director, B.A. Sapati without reference to his deputy director, who would have been in a position to advise on the legitimacy of such withdrawals.

The current SFO Director has been asked to issue a query to Mr. Sapati to explain why he acted in the way he did. A special assistant to Sapati, Richard Smith Aidoo, also took up employment with Goldcity Communications, one of companies under investigations, while still in the employment of the SFO. He has been interdicted pending full investigations into his conduct.

Withdrawal of monies from frozen accounts came to the notice of the President following concerns by the National security outfit that monies lodged in various accounts, some of which were issues of investigations might become exhausted even before the cases are completed.

It was gathered that the withdrawals from the frozen accounts were done under the SFO Act 466 of 1993, which allows portions of frozen accounts to be released to account holders from time to time. However the system has been subjected to frequent abuse. Some of the companies and individuals who have effected withdrawals in accounts under investigation are Goldcity Communication Group, Hajia Baby Ocansey and Sabat Motors.

Investigations have established that monies that are part of frozen assets belonging to persons under investigations for fraud have been withdrawn by their owners. Some of the withdrawals were facilitated by the former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Director, B.A. Sapati without reference to his deputy director, who would have been in a position to advise on the legitimacy of such withdrawals.

The current SFO Director has been asked to issue a query to Mr. Sapati to explain why he acted in the way he did. A special assistant to Sapati, Richard Smith Aidoo, also took up employment with Goldcity Communications, one of companies under investigations, while still in the employment of the SFO. He has been interdicted pending full investigations into his conduct.

Withdrawal of monies from frozen accounts came to the notice of the President following concerns by the National security outfit that monies lodged in various accounts, some of which were issues of investigations might become exhausted even before the cases are completed.

It was gathered that the withdrawals from the frozen accounts were done under the SFO Act 466 of 1993, which allows portions of frozen accounts to be released to account holders from time to time. However the system has been subjected to frequent abuse. Some of the companies and individuals who have effected withdrawals in accounts under investigation are Goldcity Communication Group, Hajia Baby Ocansey and Sabat Motors.

Source: Crusading Guide