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Opinions Sat, 7 Aug 2010

Ghana’s Day Of Shame – The Stx Fraud Exposed!

On 3rd August 2010 Ghana got itself involved in the biggest fraud of all time in Africa[i] .

The only good thing that happened on that day is that the NPP –Opposition -parliamentarians decided to boycott the proceedings, therefore providing a glimmer of hope that all is not lost with politics in Ghana.

The NDC –ruling party – parliamentarians on the other hand shamefully rubberstamped the STX – Ghana housing project agreements without giving thought to the scandalous implications this will have on Ghana’s reputation in the international community.

*Luckily*, the deal is so incoherent and incompetent that it shall not find any takers in international banking circles anyway. No bank in its right mind will lend money for something this seeped in scandal. *Unluckily*, this provides the entry point for criminals around the world to wash their dirty funds in Ghana through collaborators in Korea and this country[ii] .

We suspect that this is the real reason for the deal. It was clear from the start that no one in their right mind will put together a shoddy deal like that and seek to raise money from serious banks for a project this crooked. Even Woori bank, which is heavily influenced by the Korean government and not new to construction corruption scandals[iii], will think twice before getting involved.

So why are we so sure that this is just a fraudulent operation involving a few greedy politicians in Ghana and South Korea, and a bunch of scammers plying their trade across Africa, Korea, and Europe[iv] ?

First of all, look at the incorporation details of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up to push this soiled deal through in Ghana – STX Engineering & Construction Limited (STX-Ghana).

It is 70% owned by STX Korea and 30% owned by GK Airports, which is owned by the Delamore Group of Companies, supposedly a hedge fund based in Bermuda. A few Ghanaians, with no track record in Ghana, are named as Directors of GK Airports. A senior Executive of STX’s subsidiary in Scandinavia also sits on the board of this GK Airports. The CEO of GK Holdings is the scandal-tainted B.K. Asamoah.[v]

Actually, GK Airports has nothing Ghanaian about it, and is tied to the apron strings of GK Holdings an overseas-incorporated company.

But it is not that government lied about this being a “Ghana-Korea” joint venture (since STX-Ghana is fully held, closely, abroad) that is so alarming.

GK Airports, GK Holdings and the Delamore Group are all phantoms!

In 2003, when the scam which will eventually, on the 4th of August, be rubberstamped by Ghana’s parliament, begun, GK Holdings prepared a prospectus to help it raise funds and widely circulated it in Ghana and shared it with some overseas financiers.[vi]

The prospectus was full of falsehoods.

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The supposed Chairman of GK Holdings – Choi Cha Bok – cannot be traced to any of the companies and institutions the prospectus claims he is affiliated with. He is not the President of VSL Korea, and has never been. There is no such thing as Seoul State University of Industry, of which he was supposedly a Professor in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. He was never given any award by the President of Korea in 2000. In fact there is no independently verifiable trace of this Choi Cha Bok except in association with this fraud. [vii]

None of the projects mentioned in the GK Holdings prospectus can be independently verified. We have confirmed that they did not finance the airport at Almaty, Kazakhstan, and have never filed tax records in that country. They did not help “securitise” any national bond issue in Antigua and Barbuda as claimed in several communications. There is no such project involving GK Holdings that led to the modernisation of “Dolsun Hwante” and Sinbuk Puksun” as claimed in the brochure. All the airports, subways, and railways this wickedly deceitful company claims to have undertaken in Korea are a sham.[viii]

But the most troubling issue of all is the bold and shameful forgery of articles by reputable news organisations, like Reuters, WSJ and Dow Jones, by the Delamore Group to give false indication that it is the financial muscle behind GK Holdings’ projects around the world. Brazenly, these forged articles have been posted on the website of Delamore Group. The supposed authors of these articles or the editors of these organisations have dismissed these articles as disgraceful forgeries. What blatant thievery! [ix]The Editor of Dow Jones – Gren Manuel cannot find the articles supposedly written by Dow Jones in their factiva databases. Alistair MacDonald of Wall Street Journal cannot confirm writing about Delamore-GK. The articles are plain forgeries.

STX Korea now finds itself caught in this web of lies, deceit, and outright theft and the Board may institute an investigation to verify the documents submitted by the Korean and Ghanaian swindlers behind this deal.[x]

Many things could happen, but whatever does happen, it shall not be to Ghana’s benefit. Everyone who is approached will seek to cut their risks by covering their backsides. Hence the huge “collateral” being demanded for the suppliers’ credit in the form of political risk insurance and sovereign guarantee. They think Ghanaians are fools.

The BNI, CID and CHRAJ should act fast, or we will soon find Ghana at the center of an international scandal. The NDC bigshots who still find nothing wrong with this deal should watch out. One day they may be called to account, and maybe not just in Ghana.

Since some of the evidence painstakingly gathered is also on the internet, the swindlers will try to remove them. We have used caching devices to preserve the evidence and are asking Ghanaians of good conscience to do so too. The security services should not feel bribed by the offer of phantom housing and should look sharp to bring the perpetrators to book. We will be alerting the international law enforcement bodies too. This is just beginning.

August 3rd 2010 shall forever live in infamy!

By-

Concerned Independent Stakeholders on the Housing Project (CISHOP)

1 Timeline of the infamy- http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2010/07/123_56972.html http://www.reuters.com/article/idUKSEL00280520091208

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=187498

2 Ghana’s systems woefully inadequate to handle terrorist and laundered funds-

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http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=185558

http://www.adomonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1533:money-laundering-terrorist-financing-banes-for-ghana&catid=44:politics&Itemid=183

3 Woori Bank raided-

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-23/woori-bank-headquarters-raided-by-korean-police-on-project-financing-loans.html

4 Subsidiary of STX raided for corruption-

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/02/205_59664.html

5 http://business.peacefmonline.com/tools/printnews/news.php?contentid=65400

6 The big scam-

www.delamoregroup.com/images/GK_Holding.pdf

7 See Page 7 –

www.delamoregroup.com/images/GK_Holding.pdf

8 See page 18 – 23

www.delamoregroup.com/images/GK_Holding.pdf

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9A catalogue of frightening lies and forgeries-

http://www.delamoregroup.com/newsroom.htm

10 Confidential sources.

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[i]Timeline of the infamy- http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2010/07/123_56972.html http://www.reuters.com/article/idUKSEL00280520091208

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=187498

[ii]Ghana’s systems woefully inadequate to handle terrorist and laundered funds-

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=185558

http://www.adomonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1533:money-laundering-terrorist-financing-banes-for-ghana&catid=44:politics&Itemid=183

[iii]Woori Bank raided-

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-23/woori-bank-headquarters-raided-by-korean-police-on-project-financing-loans.html

[iv]Subsidiary of STX raided for corruption-

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/02/205_59664.html

[v] http://business.peacefmonline.com/tools/printnews/news.php?contentid=65400

[vi]The big scam-

www.delamoregroup.com/images/GK_Holding.pdf

[vii]See Page 7 –

www.delamoregroup.com/images/GK_Holding.pdf

[viii]See page 18 – 23

www.delamoregroup.com/images/GK_Holding.pdf

[ix]A catalogue of frightening lies and forgeries-

http://www.delamoregroup.com/newsroom.htm

[x] Confidential sources.

Columnist: cishopghana@gmail.com