General News Sun, 18 Jun 2006

Gold fraudsters in Ghana?

This was a story published at the back page of the Daily Graphic of Monday, December 13, 2004, under the title ?Five Arrested for Fraud?, and, I have been following the story for almost two years now.

In an exclusive interview with Mr. Kwame Anas Ofei, one the wrongfully arrested persons in the fraud case, he explains how he treated this news item with the contempt it deserves but for the dent it has caused his image and the absolute falsehood perpetrated in the report.

Mr. Kwame Anas Ofei, said, ?I wish to register his disgust about the unprofessional and irresponsible manner in which the police handled this case, which was reported to them by a Taiwanese national, Mr. Steve Chen Siang Ruei?. Narrating his side of the story; (Mr. Kwame Anas Ofei); the case as reported to the police, was grossly inaccurate and full of lies. The police, for reasons best known to them failed to ask my side of the story before arresting me. It amazes me why people with high professional training could behave in that manner and succumb to the whims and caprices of a foreigner as if Ghanaians are not trustworthy and any allegation made against us is the truth.

Mr. Ofei reiterated that, if the police had acted professionally as expected of them, they would have realized that there are was no merit in the allegations Mr. Ruei made against him, and they could save themselves the embarrassment they suffered as later events revealed.

?I have known Ruei, who most Ghanaians who?ve come into contact with refer to as Steve, for the past six months. We have had several business discussions for sometime now.?


?I even traveled to Taiwan to visit him and to further our business discussions. He mandated me through a power of attorney to be the lawful representative of his company, ?US Know International Corporation? in Ghana.? Mr. Steve Chen Siang Ruei later informed me (Mr. Ofei) that he had some business deals with some individuals in Ghana, and they were to ship gold to him. He, therefore, requested to use my bank account in Germany to send some to them.

He instructed me through a fax messages to release the money to one Nana Adade Adabio and Nana Owusu Agyeman and to collect a receipt from them, which I did accordingly. He actually transferred $ 89,300 through my account, instructing me about the breakdown of the money I had to pay to Nana Kofi Adade Ababio and Nana Owusu Agyeman and to collect a receipt from them which I did accordingly. He actually transferred $89,300 through my account, instructing me about the breakdown of the money I had to pay to Nana Kofi Adade Ababio and Nana Owusu. I indicated my unhappiness with the transaction but Mr. Ruei sent another fax message telling me that he and Nana Abadio?s group had already agreed on what to do and he did not want to go through the Precious Mineral Marketing Company (PMMC) the government appointed agency for the shipment for precious metals. Not even my persistent explanation could deter him.

I, therefore, paid as per his instruction, the sums of $30,000 through Nana Owusu to be given to Nana Ababio and a further $47,000, to Nana Adade Ababio himself. The group couldn?t ship the gold as promised, so he called me to intervene and assist him retrieve his money from Nana Adade Ababio.

?I filed a writ at the High Court in Accra, on behalf of US Know International, against Kumwaa Mining, Nana Adade Ababio and Co to retrieve his money.? Mr. Ruei came to Accra to support my effort. When he arrived, he said Nana Ababio can Co pleaded with him for an out-of-court settlement. This was at a time Mr. Kwame Anas Ofei was traveling to Switzerland for a short business trip. ?On my arrival, I protested and insisted we proceed with court action, Mr Ruei objected and would not listen to my advice.? Later, when it became evident that no gold was coming, he demanded to know the where about of Nana Ababio and his group. I told him I had no idea about their whereabouts, since it was he who introduced them to me and that there was very little I could do to find them. The next thing I realized was that he had reported to the police implicating me in that fraud case and the police, with and hesitation, arrested me and got the one-sided story published in the Daily Graphic.

Now, stay tune for the truth in this particular fraud case and many other gold fraud cases in Ghana.

Source: BK Tawiah ? bktawiah@hotmail.com