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General News Tue, 17 Jan 2012

How Kufour Was Used In $2.5 Million Gold Scam

The Dubai-based business tycoon and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jampur Group, Mohammad Shafiq, who was lured into Ghana by a highly-connected criminal gang led by lawyer Charles Owusu Juanah, and duped US$2.5 million has revealed details of his rare meeting with ex-President John Kufuor, at his Airport West Residence.

He mentioned Mr. Paul Afoko as present during the meeting with the ex-president, where he was asked to donate a mouthwatering US$30, 000 to the recently launched Kufuor Foundation, owned by Mr. Kufuor.

Other details picked up by The Herald, reveals a certain David Lamptey, who on the day after Mr Shafiq met Mr. Kufuor went to the K-San Law Firm with a police dispatch rider to fetch the lawyer from his Adabraka office on claim that they had an important meeting with Vice-President John Mahama, at the Castle.

Juanah, whose real name is Charles Owusu Ansah, has also been walking the corridors of power claiming to be an Oil Expert , is said to be noted for sweet talks and namedropping to convince his victims of his connections to people in high places; lawyers, judges, top police officers and politicians.

According to Mr. Shafiq, during his November, 2011 visit to Ghana, “Charles invited me to visit former president, John Kufour at his residence. Charles wanted me to meet every important politician and individuals in Ghana including the sitting President, Vice-President, national security advisor of Ghana”.

“He told me that he is the exclusive adviser and attorney of Mr. John Kufour and to former president’s close associates including Mr. Paul Afoko, the former president’s chief of staff among others.

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“He further advised me that he has done legal work for the sitting president in the past and continues to do his legal work and he has access to the president all the time.

“When Charles and I arrived at the residence of Mr. John Kufour, I saw Mr. Paul Afoko sitting with Mr. Kufour” “Charles advised Mr. Kufour about my activities in Ghana, specifically investment of USD five millions in purchase of gold and expansions of business in the mining sector.

“Charles suggested I donate USD 30,000/ to Mr. Kufour’s charity foundation, which I agreed and told Mr. Kufour my intentions for donating in charity to his foundation. Mr. Kufour was very kind and encouraged me to invest in Ghana. “Our meeting lasted about twenty minutes, as Mr. Kufour had to travel to another town in Ghana.

“Charles and I, dropped off Paul at the airport, as Paul was his way to London for meeting with gold buyers. Paul told me he might have some gold to sell but will discuss after his return from London.

“Paul and I have been in touch, but no business transaction has taken place and we have not sent USD 30,000/ mentioned above as account details were not sent to me by Charles as was promised.

“Later, Charles and I arrived at his law office and met the sellers of gold, OLD NANA (Nana Adjei) and Small Nana. Charles had informed them that I just met Mr. Kufour.

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“Charles further told them that he will take me to meet the sitting president soon. This was the day agreement was reached for the gold transaction and they received USD One millions in advance.

“I met Mr. Kufour again at Abuja, Nigeria on the advice of Paul. “Mr. Kufour was then visiting Abuja. This was after the fraud had been committed against us.

“Mr. Kufour was very sympathetic to my situation and called Paul to assist me to handle this matter”. Meanwhile, the Financial Division of the Accra High Court has remanded in custody the Chief Executive Officer of K-San Law firm, Charles Owusu Juanah, and an agronomist, Victor Amoah, on charges of conspiracy and money laundering.

They are being held by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) for fraud and money laundering activities. They are to reappear before the court presided over by Mr. Justice Bright Mensah, on Thursday, January 19, 2012.

They have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and aiding and abetting money laundering activities.

The bank managers of the Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) at its Abeka and headquarters branches, as well as the Industrial Area Branch Manager of the SG-SSB Bank and the Chief Executive of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC), are to report to the EOCO on tomorrow to assist in the investigations.

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Another person, identified as Nana Kwaku Adjei, who posed as a gold dealer in the fraudulent transactions, is currently being sought to assist in investigations.

Juanah, the principal architect, is said to have collected the US$2.5 million from the GT Bank headquarters at about 9:45 p.m. on November 17, 2011, to his Abeka office in a sack.

Details are that the two accused persons lured a Dubai-based businessman and his agents into the country to establish business dealings in gold. They were made to pay the US$2.5 million before the gold, which had been lodged in a vault at the SG-SSB Bank, was released to them..

Juanah, at about 9:45 p.m. on November 17, 2011, went to the Abeka branch of the GT Bank to pick the money to an office located at Adabraka.

Mr. Shafiq and his agents later verify the authenticity of the gold when it had been delivered, and a huge portion of it turned out to be fake.

When Mr. Shafiq and his agents wanted to lodge a complaint with the police, they were warned by Juanah not to as they would be arrested by the police for transacting an illegal business. They left the country for Dubai but lodged a complaint with the National Security, which referred the matter to EOCO.

When Juanah was picked up, two passports; one British and one Ghanaian, with two different dates of birth were seized from him.

Investigations have so far revealed that Juanah drafted the contract agreement for the transactions, acted as solicitor to both the buyer and the seller, while Victor Amoah, a friend of Juanah’s, acted as consultant to Mr. Shafiq and his agents.

Source: The Herald