The two, Ebenezer Lomotey, an official of the Sports Ministry and Rex Danquah, CEO of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2009 African Hockey Tournament, have been cited for allegedly withdrawing unexpended amounts of money to the tune of GHÃ‚Â¢72,141.50 from the LOC Hockey Accounts at the Ministry of Youth and Sports through a ghost transaction.
The suspects in the case, who were arrested, are on police enquiry bail following their alleged admission of the offence and are reporting twice a week- Tuesdays and Thursdays- to the Police as investigations continue.
Documents chanced upon by DAILY GUIDE suggest that upon discovering that the LOC accounts at the Bank of Ghana held unspent amounts of money, the two persons, alongside others, allegedly conspired to find a way of siphoning the funds for their personal use.
The first move, after meeting over the plot, was to get a company to facilitate the withdrawal of the money from the Bank of Ghana.
A certain Herbert Perbi, a Principal Auditor of the Audit Service on secondment to the Ghana Education Service (GES), was contacted to assist in that direction.
Mr. PerbiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first move was to renew an enterprise registration of his company, IBERP Enterprise, dormant, until the renewal.
A bank account was opened at the International Commercial BankÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Makola Branch with accounts number 10260259504 in the name of IBERP Enterprise, sources said.
The plot allegedly was to fake supplies of furniture and other office equipment, to which five cheques were issued covering a range of items on an accompanying number of vouchers.
The vouchers were sent to a certain Jones Ocloo for verification and processing, after Rex Danquah allegedly authorized the fake transaction.
The next action was to have the cheques lodged into the account of Mr. PerbiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s IBERP Enterprise at theÃ‚Â Makola Branch of the International Commercial Bank.
Having done this, the alleged conspirators, Messrs Magnus Rex Danquah, Ebenezer Lomotey, Jones Ocloo and Herbert Perbi, assembled at Mr. LomoteyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office at the Ministry of Youth and Sports to deliberate on the order of sharing the proceeds.
A formula was allegedly adopted in withdrawing the money as follows:
1. Mr. Magnus Rex Danquah-Ã‚Â GHÃ‚Â¢25,000
2. Mr. Ebenezer Lomotey- GHÃ‚Â¢10,000
3.Mr. Jones Ocloo- GHÃ‚Â¢10,000
4. Mr. Herbert Perbi GH-Ã‚Â¢10,000
5.Set aside for external auditor to Lomotey- GHÃ‚Â¢10,000
6. VAT returns (fake) to Perbi-GHÃ‚Â¢7,141.50
DAILY GUIDE gathered that the cheques for withdrawing the money were not issued in bulk to any of the conspirators.
Mr. Perbi was noted to have issued between three to four cheques to each of the alleged conspirators and post-dated these to be cashed now and then. By the time investigations commenced, the following details were available:
1.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â GHÃ‚Â¢3200.00 was stolen, of which Mr. Lomotey took GHÃ‚Â¢2000.00 and Perbi GHÃ‚Â¢1200.00
2.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â GHÃ‚Â¢700.00 was taken by Perbi.
3.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â GHÃ‚Â¢8,350.00 cashed by Perbi and sent to Rex Danquah through Lomotey.
The suspects have been made to refund the amounts they withdrew so far including the tax component deducted in favour of IBERP Enterprise.
An amount of GHÃ‚Â¢15,928.00 was retrieved and paid into the LOC 2009 Hockey Account as the balance stands frozen in the International Commercial Bank account belonging to IBERP Enterprise.
Rex Danquah, a renowned event manager, made the headlines recently when after organizing a fundraising activity for the Ghana Football Association (GFA), he failed to release the money realized from the event.
When DAILY GUIDE contacted Mr. Danquah, he declined to comment on the subject.
By A.R. Gomda