Posted: Thursday 31st July 2014 at 8:36 am

$127m money laundering: Lawyer for Kessben suspects witch-hunting


The lawyer for CEO of Kessben Group of Companies arrested for money laundering has stated that his client, Kwabena Kesse is innocent of any wrongdoing, describing his arrest as a witch-hunting exercise.

Lawyer Ohene Gyan, stated emphatically that his client was innocent and suspected foul play on the part of his captors, indicating that Mr. Kesse was a genuine businessman who did not indulge in illegalities.

The arrest of Kumasi-based business mogul, Kwabena Kesse, CEO of Kessben Group of Companies, by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) officials, has displeased his legal team. The business man was arrested on Monday by the BNI for allegedly indulging in fraud and money laun­dering.

Kwabena Kesse
Mr. Kesse was reportedly picked up at the Kotoka International Airport in front of his wife and children shortly upon arrival from a trip abroad. He was accused of using Kessben Shipping, For­warding and Trading Ltd to facilitate the transfer of money amounting to $127 million.

From January 2013 to February 2014, Mr Kesse was said to have sent an amount of $127,931,727.65 outside the country.

Mr. Kesse, according to reports, was supposed to be processed by the BNI for court on Wednesday, but at the time of filing this report, it had not been done.

His arrest came as big shock to the people of Kumasi, especially hundreds of workers of his chain of businesses.

He owns Kessben Group of Companies comprising Kessben 93.3 FM, Kessben TV, Kessben Travel and Tours, Kessben Driving School, Kessben Shipping and Forwarding Ltd, Kessben Computer School, Fosua Hotel and Aseda Clinic. He is also the majority share­holder in Multi Credit Savings and Loans Ltd.

Lawyer Ohene Gyan said on Kessben FM that Mr. Kesse’s company had, for years, transacted business for its clients via Stanbic Bank.

According to Lawyer Ohene Gyan, “Kessben Ship­ping, Forwarding and Trading Limited…for about eight years, was involved in acting as agent for people and importers who import items from various destinations including China, Dubai and other countries”.

Mr. Gyan therefore expressed surprise that his client had been accused of money laundering because “the transactions are done through Stanbic and sanctioned also by Bank of Ghana.”

Lawyer Ohene Gyan said his client had not been allowed to meet his lawyers since he was arrested on Monday. “We tried to see him on Tuesday but to no avail.”

Lawyer Ohene Gyan said the arrest of Mr. Kesse was based on unfounded allegations, stressing that his client would be cleared of any wrongdoing in due time.

Scores of people called into his radio station, Kess­ben FM, on Wednesday morning to register their sup­port for Mr. Kesse.

Most of the callers said the government was strug­gling to fix the economy, so it wanted to use innocent people as scapegoats.

Some of the listeners also argued that Mr. Kesse was arrested for political reasons, even though he was not a politician.

Some taxi drivers in Kumasi were peeved over the arrest of Mr. Kesse.

According to the displeased drivers, Mr. Kesse had been engaged in legitimate business in the metropolis for years, so it was unfair for him to be arrested and dis­graced by the BNI.

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