Allegd $80 million Gold Deal: Geological Survey Department Shifts Blame

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The consignment arrived at the KIA for pre-export formalities under two certificates for “mineral samples” for “laboratory analysis only and of no commercial value” both signed for the Director of Geological Survey by one Dr Thomas Adu but with one dated 31st December 2012 and the second dated 7th January 2013. The said “mineral samples” were consigned to an address in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to the BNI, at the airport, one Isaac Anakwa Asante, Head of Operations of Menzies Airline Handling Services which handled the aircraft from touchdown to departure and who inspected the cargo before scanning by Nick TC-Scan reported sighting gold bars. The exporter, Kofi Bedzrah of Omanye Gold Mining Ltd also insists his company exported gold bars of 1.5 tonnes. He claims it is worth $62,000,000.

The BNI’s preliminary report of investigations which was made known to the public by the Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga, however, added that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (CD/GRA) Instructions for the Dispatch of Goods (IDG) form entered the goods as “mineral samples”. The pre-departure formalities were endorsed by Kwesi Avemee, a collector of CD/GRA and Albert Kan Dapaah, a Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) official. While mineral samples do not attract tax liability, it was found unusual to have mineral samples shipped in such tonnage.

GSD Explanation
But the GSD Director, John Agyei Duodu, brandished documents to support the claim that his outfit only received a “request for approval” from Omanye Gold Mining Ltd “to export mineral samples to Mr Vahid Moradi Moghddam to Swift Investment and Development Co. Ltd DMCC Branch, Transguard Code DSS 898 Suite 910 BUSINESS AVE BLD, (ETIHAD) ROAD, DEIRA-DUBAI-UAE”. He added that the “Application for Export Permit” of the 15 boxes of Mineral Samples was dated 7th January, 2013.

The GSD, on that same day, issued a “Certificate of Mineral Samples ” which was signed by Dr T.K Adu for the Director of the GSD to the Gold Mining Company, which states inter alia; “I Certify that Omanye Gold Mining Limited, P.O.Box MS 292, Mile 7, Achimota-Accra, is sending 15 boxes of mineral samples weighing 1500kgs to Mr Vahid Moradi Moghddam, Swift Investment and Development Co. Ltd DMCC Branch, Transguard Code DSS 898 Suite 910 BUSINESS AVE BLD, (ETIHAD) ROAD, DEIRA-DUBAI-UAE. These samples are for laboratory analysis only and are of no commercial value. These samples, which were inspected in the presence of Mr Peter Bedrah (CEO), were not under seal.”

The certificate was copied to the Assistant Commissioner of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the Chief Executive of Mineral Commission, the Deputy Director of Foreign Banking Officer (Receipt) and the CEO of the Omanye Mining Limited.

Thus to Mr Agyei Duodu, there was no way the mineral samples that underwent laboratory analysis could turn into gold bars, stressing that the GSD never conducted any analysis on gold materials.

Meanwhile, the BNI is still carrying out investigations into the discrepancy in description of the shipment at various times as mineral samples and gold bullion during the export process.

Two Ghanaian nationals, according to officialdom, have been cited in the controversial gold transaction initially said to have been between the Government of Ghana and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The two are Peter Bedzrah the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Omanye Gold Mining Limited and Fredrick Kojo Essumang.