Legon Police Commander, 6 others interdicted over gold scam



Five policemen, including the East Legon District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Emmanuel Basintale, and four civilians have been arrested in connection with a number of alleged fraudulent gold deals running into several millions of Ghana cedis.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service which effected the arrests has given the names of the four policemen as RSM John Savour, General Corporal Baleto Buafour, General Corporal Ignatius Asamoah Mensah and Detective Corporal Cyrus Conduah.

The civilian suspects are Anthony Yaw Osei, alias Wofa; Frederick Kofi Appiah, alias Nana Agyei; William Hansua and George Yeboah.

Two others — a chief and a queenmother from Tarkwa in the Western Region — are currently at large.

The group, believed to be led by DSP Basintale, is alleged to have defrauded Green Global Resources Company Limited of GH¢1.3 million under the pretext of selling 13 gold bars to the company.

According to the Director of the Police Public Affairs Directorate, Superintendent Cephas Arthur, the arrest of the East Legon District Police Commander and his accomplices followed intensive investigations by the CID from 2016.

He said investigations revealed that DSP Basintale had been involved in many gold deals in which his gang offered the gold bars to prospective buyers, but as soon as payment was made the police went in to seize the gold bars and arrest both the buyers and the sellers.

Gold deals

He said the complainant in the gold deal that exposed DSP Basintale was Green Global Resources, a licensed dealer in gold and other minerals.

Supt Arthur said in November last year, the company contacted one Adedayo Jalil Adedotum to assist it to purchase gold bars for export.

After he had agreed to help, Adedayo arranged a meeting among the company, its bankers, Courage Gesepe, a gold dealer, and another person whose name was given only as Frank, also a gold dealer.

During the meeting, Gesepe offered 20 kilogrammes of  gold for sale at $31,000 per kilogramme, to which the company agreed, but requested that it would have to test the gold.

Transaction

Gesepe acceded to the request by the company and met the buyers on the company’s premises at Dzorwulu, where he introduced a middle-aged woman, whom he claimed to be a queenmother from Tarkwa and owner of the gold.

When the gold bars were tested, they proved to be genuine, but the transaction could not be completed because Gesepe brought only five gold bars, instead of the 13 which had been agreed upon during the negotiations.

Gesepe, therefore, took the five bars away after the test and promised to provide all the 13 bars at their next meeting.

Another meeting took place between the parties in the offices of the buyers’ bank at North Ridge (name of the bank withheld).

On that occasion, Gesepe and the queenmother introduced two men, Wofa Yaw Osei and Nana Agyei, as the sons of the queenmother.

Gold bars tested

At the meeting, Gesepe presented 13 gold bars to be tested. Eleven of the bars turned out to be pure 22 carat gold, while the remaining two were 20 carats.

Before the officials of the company could effect payment, the queenmother claimed that there were so many people around at the bank and so it would not be safe to carry the money.

She, therefore, requested that a meeting be held the next day at a neutral venue, a suggestion which was agreed upon by both parties.

At another meeting which was held between the parties in a hotel in Accra, the company paid GH¢1.3 million for the 11 bars of gold which met their required purity.

The buyers told the queenmother that once the two bars were short of the purity, they would buy them at a lower price.

They settled on buying the two remaining bars for GH¢280,000.

Amount involved

Subsequently, the queenmother and Gesepe left with the GH¢1.3 million, leaving her two supposed sons and the rest of the buyers to seal the deal.

Suddenly, four policemen appeared at the hotel, in the company of George Yeboah, and arrested the group.

According to the police, they arrested both the buyers and the sellers for stealing and dishonestly receiving.

The police took them and the 13 bars of gold which were in a box to the East Legon Police Station where they handed the suspects over to DSP Basintale.

In his office, DSP Basintale opened the box of gold bars, checked and locked them in his drawer and put the keys in his pocket.

He is said to have ordered that both the buyers and the sellers be detained, since the sellers stole the gold bars from George Yeboah, who was the real owner of the mineral.

Case referred

Dissatisfied with the conduct of the East Legon Police, Green Global Resources reported the matter to the CID, which began investigations into the case.

When DSP Basintale was asked to produce the 13 gold bars at the CID Headquarters, they turned out to be fake gold bars.

Investigations by the CID revealed that DSP Basintale had been involved in a number of gold deals running into millions of Ghana cedis and had recruited a number of policemen from both the East Legon and the Achimota Police stations who had been assisting him to carry out the deals.

Supt Arthur said further investigations were underway.

Source: Graphic.com.gh



Published on 17 March 2017 | 12:23 pm at Source