GHC1.3m gold fraud claims: My hands are clean- Former Police boss
Interdicted former Commander of the East Legon District Police command, DSP Emmanuel A. Basintale has denied engaging in GH¢1.3m gold fraud.
Kissi Agyebeng, lawyer for DSP Basintale in a statement warned to file a suit against the police service for engaging in negative media publications against his client.
”Our clients have not engaged in any act of criminality by any stretch of the legal and factual imagination. Our clients would be heading to the law courts to clear their names and reputations and for reinstatement,’ he said.
DSP Basintale and four other policemen were arrested in March 2017 for allegedly duping a licensed gold buying company Green Global Resources Company Limited of GH¢1.3 million under the pretext of selling 13 gold bars to them.
However, the CEO of Green Global Resources on Tuesday indicated that justice is not being served.
Read details of the statement by Lawyer Agyebeng
IN RE: GOLD AFFAIR, GHANA POLICE SERVICE
IN RE: DSP Emmanuel A. Basintale, RSM John Sovor, No. 41306 G/CPL. Baleto Boafour, No. 39891 G/L/CPL. Ignatius Asamoah Mensah, and No. 44065 D/L/CPL. Cyrus Egbert Conduah
The Ghana Police Service commenced a rather rueful negative media campaign a couple of months ago against our clients, DSP Emmanuel A. Basintale, RSM John Sovor, No. 41306 G/CPL. Baleto Boafour, No. 39891 G/L/CPL. Ignatius Asamoah Mensah, and No. 44065 D/L/CPL. Cyrus Egbert Conduah of the East Legon Police Command in respect of the arrest of some persons and retrieval of some substance purported to be gold.
Our clients have borne in silence the brunt of the odium the publications reduced them in their name, reputation and standing in society, until now. At first, we gave the Ghana Police Service the benefit of its stature that it would institute a service enquiry timeously to establish the veracity or otherwise of the allegations, should it find the need to do so upon their interdiction.
However, recent events have informed us that the Ghana Police Service is unwilling to act within the confines of law and regulation in this matter but is very much inclined to subject our clients to further public ridicule in a very unfair manner.
Our clients would be heading to the law courts to clear their names and reputations and for reinstatement. It has also become equally important to publicly refute the myriad publications caused by the Ghana Police Service and other persons and entities against them as follows:
1 Contrary to publications caused by the Ghana Police Service, our clients were never arrested or detained in any police station whatsoever.
2 Our clients arrested certain accused persons in connection with a gold case reported at the East Legon Police Station and processed them for court.
3 On 12 November 2016, one George Yeboah of Tarkwa Nsuayem lodged a complaint of theft of his 13 kilograms of gold by his business partners. In the cause of investigations, the East Legon Police arrested suspects Nana Agyei, Wofa Yaw Osei, Adedayo Adedotun (alias AJ), and Chinese/Americans Yongcing Wu, Dai Dingxian, Mike Fan and John Whelen together with 13 kilograms of some shiny metals alleged to be gold. During interrogation, suspects Nana Agyei and Wofa Yaw Osei confessed to the offence and mentioned suspects Adedayo Adedotun (alias AJ) and one Courage Gegepe as their accomplices. After preliminary investigations, the suspects were charged with the offences of stealing and dishonestly receiving, respectively, and put before the Circuit Court, Accra.
4 While preparing to send the retrieved exhibit to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) for assaying, Courage Gegepe was arrested and upon interrogation he admitted that they had defrauded the Chinese/Americans who were earlier charged with the offence of dishonestly receiving. He further stated that they swapped the pure gold with fake gold before handing it over to the buyers and that they did that with the support of Adedayo Adedotun (alias AJ), a Nigerian who was in the company of the buyers. Upon this admission, Courage Gegepe was also charged and put before the Circuit Court.
5. On 22 November 2016, while the officer in charge of prosecution was in the process of amending the charges to reflect the appropriate offences, the CID Headquarters took over the investigation of the case from East Legon.
6. The account above is verifiable from the records at the East Legon Police Command.
7 The CID Headquarters then withdrew the case from court and the accused persons, Adedayo Adedotun (alias AJ) and Courage Gegepe were set free.
8 Upon releasing the suspects, the CID Headquarters then turned around and declared Courage Gegepe (whom they had released) a wanted man in publications, including on Facebook, on 12 June 2017 in respect of the same transaction that led to his arrest and arraignment before court by our clients. In the said publication, the CID Headquarters acknowledged that the original suspects readily confessed stealing the actual gold – a fact that was unearthed by our clients as far back as November 2016 in their investigations. Needless to say, Courage Gegepe is still on the run.
9 The CID publication on 12 June 2017 also acknowledged that Courage Gegepe disclosed upon his arrest in November 2016 that he and his accomplices were engaged in a scheme and defrauded the complainants.
10 By a signal dated 17 February 2017 and referenced as PO.2811/21, our clients were interdicted without any stated reason whatsoever.
11 Reg. 105(12) of the Police Service Regulations, 2012 (C.I. 76) states that “[I]f after three months of interdiction, disciplinary proceedings are not instituted against the officer, the Inspector-General shall revoke the interdiction and the officer shall resume duty”.
12 As at 18 May 2017, more than three (3) months after their interdiction, no disciplinary proceedings had been instituted against our clients. Thus, the Inspector-General of Police was mandatorily required to revoke the interdiction for our clients to resume duty.
13 By a letter dated 18 May 2017 and addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, we demanded the revocation of the interdiction of our clients and a recall for assumption of duty.
14 By a letter dated 30 May 2017, the Chief Staff Officer responded to our letter that he had been directed by the Inspector-General of Police to inform us that a service enquiry had been instituted against our clients.
15 By a letter dated 30 May 2017, we demanded to know when the enquiry was commenced and when notice of the enquiry was served on our clients. The Ghana Police Service has been unable to answer these two simple questions till date. This is because if any disciplinary proceedings have been instituted, it was done in breach of C.I. 76.
From the foregoing, the following should be obvious to any reasonable mind:
A. Our clients were dutifully doing their job and proceeded to arrest suspects upon a complaint and after investigations, they arraigned the suspects before court.
B. Our clients have not engaged in any act of criminality by any stretch of the legal and factual imagination.
C. The confessed suspects, who had been charged with the respective offences before court, were freed by the CID Headquarters.
D. The CID Headquarters has now declared them wanted again.
E. The substance purported to be gold has not been independently assayed to establish their nature and substance.
F. The suspects confessed to defrauding the complainants and switching the actual gold for fake gold.
G. The Ghana Police Service is perpetrating an illegality by purporting to hold a service enquiry in respect of our clients in flagrant violation of C.I. 76.
Consequently, it beats all imagination and reason for the Ghana Police Service to engage in negative media publications against our clients, which conduct has encouraged other persons and entities to also defame and soil our clients’ reputation.
Cromwell Gray LLP