The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman of the Gomoa West Constituency, Joseph Kwame Donkor, who has been accused of the illegal shipment of 1.5 tonnes of gold, worth $52 million, to Turkey somewhere last year, has been denied access to his car, which is in the possession of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
According to his counsel, the vehicle has been impounded by the BNI since his arrest, and that he needs the court’s approval for it to be released.
The court, presided over by Mrs. Patience Mills-Tetteh, denied the request, and advised that the counsel make an application on the next adjourned date.
The Constituency Chairman, who is facing two counts of abetment, is alleged to have acted together with two other accused persons – Peter Kofi Bedra and Frank Mould – to export gold to Turkey without undergoing the required legal requirements before shipment.
The counsel for Peter Kofi Bedzra pleaded with the court to review the bail condition of his client, as he needed to travel to Nigeria for a medical checkup.
The bail condition, which stated that the accused deposit his passport with the Court Registrar was, however, revoked, but the sum of GH¢100,000 and three sureties still stand.
The other accused person, Frank Mould, who was denied bail on the last adjourned date, was confirmed to have been granted bail by an Accra High Court. All accused persons are, therefore, expected to re-appear before the court on May 6, 2013.
The Prosecutor, DSP Abraham A. Annor, had earlier told the court that Mould operated at the Kotoka International Airport, and that in December 2012, one Valid Moradi Moghaddam and his partners, all Arabs, were in Ghana to purchase gold.
According to him, they came into contact with Omanye Gold Mining Limited, which sold them a quantity of gold, weighing 1.5 tonnes, and valued at $52 million. The buyers packed the gold in 30 boxes to be exported to Dubai.
DSP Annor said Frank Mould was contracted to process the consignment for export, and in the process, aided Bedzra to forge documents of the Geological Survey Department, the Bank of Ghana, and a goods movement certificate.
He said this was in order to ship the said 30 boxes through customs and other security checks at the KIA, and subsequently, exported the said consignment to Dubai on December 31, 2012.
The Prosecutor disclosed that on December 29, last year, a chartered flight arrived to carry the consignment to Dubai, adding that Joseph Donkor had knowledge of the arrival of the flight, and as such, made hotel reservation at Golden Tulip for seven crew members, and paid their bills.
‘However, the gold was intercepted and detained in Turkey, because the documents accompanying the gold were not genuine. Following an accusation that the government of Ghana was involved in the gold scandal, it ordered the BNI to commence investigations into the matter,’ he added.