Duffuor, Asiama, others charged for stealing and money laundering

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Dr Kwabena Duffuor, founder of the defunct uniBank, has been dragged to court by the Attorney General, facing 68 counts of fraudulent breach of trust, money laundering, dishonestly receiving funds and falsification of accounts.

According to the suit filed at the high court yesterday, Dr Duffuor will be facing trial alongside a former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, Johnson Pandit Asiama, and seven others.

The others are Hoda Holdings Limited;  Kwabena Duffour II, chief executive officer of defunct uniBank; Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis, chief operating officer; Elsie Dansoa Kyereh, executive head of corporate banking; Jeffery Amon, a senior relationship manager; Benjamin Ofori, executive head of credit control; and Kwadwo Opoku Okoh, financial control manager.

Dubious payouts

According to the charge sheet, after uniBank eventually collapsed on August 1 2018, the official administrator, KPMG, in the course of its duties, discovered that about GHS5.7 billion was owed by shareholders.

There was no security, nor proper credit arrangements for the payment of the amount, which remains unpaid.

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“The debt of GH¢5.7 billion was made up of two components, namely a Deferred Expenditure Account (DEA), together with other balances of about GH¢3.7 billion and, secondly, Loans and Advances made up of about GH¢2 billion,” the charge sheet adds.

The DEA was a general ledger account created and operated for the benefit of shareholders of uniBank.

“The GH¢3.7 billion was also made up of a number of transactions of which about GH¢2.4 billion constituted direct payouts for the benefit of shareholders.

“Out of the amount of GH¢2.4 billion, the 4th and 5th accused persons, acting in concert, dishonestly appropriated funds out of customer deposits and borrowings from BoG for the benefit of shareholders through a variety of means, including the use of petty cash vouchers and cash pay-in slips amounting to about GH¢613 million,” it states further.

Related parties

It further states that out of the amount of GH¢613 million, various payments were dishonestly made to the accounts of related parties of uniBank.

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They include HODA Properties, Numa Logistics, Integrated Properties, Topp Recruitment and Bolton Portfolio.

The amount was allegedly paid without recourse to due process, contrary to proper banking practice, whilst corresponding entries were also dishonestly posted to the DEA.

Johnson Asiama

Johnson Pandit Asiama has also been charged with contravention of the Bank of Ghana Act 2002 (Act 612), contrary to sections 46(h) and 67) a) of the Act.

According to the charge sheet, the former deputy governor, in and about September 2016, granted a facility in the sum of GHC300 million to Universal Merchant Bank for the benefit of uniBank Ghana Limited without satisfying the prescribed conditions set out in the Bank of Ghana Act, (2002(Act 612).

He has also been charged with wilfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GHC150 million.

Duffuor II/Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis

The above two have also been charged with conspiracy to commit crime, namely fraudulent breach of trust, contrary to sections 23(1) and 128 of the Criminal Offences Act.

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“Kwabena Duffuor II and Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis, on or about 5th December 2016, in Accra  in the Greater Accra region, dishonestly appropriated the sum of GHC146,867,169.26 which was entrusted to you in trust for depositors of unibank Ghana Limited,” the particulars of offence reads.

The two have also charged with money laundering and fraudulent breach of trust.

Amoabeng in fresh trouble

In a related development, the Attorney-General has filed new charges at the Accra high court against Prince Kofi Amoabeng, founder of the defunct UTBank, over the collapse of the bank.

The charge sheet filed at the court yesterday named the other accused persons as Dr Johnson Asiama, a former 2nd deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG); Raymond Amanfu, a former head of the banking supervision division (BSD) of the BoG; Catherine Johnson, head of treasury of UTBank; Robert Kwesi Armah, general manager of corporate banking of UTBank and UT Holdings.

Source: Daily Statesman

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