Allegation Of Gambling In Ghana Mission In Japan Under Investigation

The government has initiated investigations into allegations that its mission in Japan was involved in an illegal gambling business which led to the arrest of 10 Japanese.

A statement issued in Accra Thursday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Hannah Tetteh, said the government, with assistance from its staff in Japan, was conducting its own investigations.

According to media reports in Japan, the Tokyo police arrested 10 people suspected of running an illegal gambling business in a room leased in the name of a former Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan, Mr William George Mensah Brandful.

Nine of the 10 had admitted the charges against them, but the 10th person, Hiroyuki Yamanoi, 35, had denied them, police sources said.

The police are also said to have seized more than $100,000 in cash.

“Some of the suspects were said to have revealed that they thought they would not be arrested because the casino belonged to the Ghana Embassy,” the sources said.

The Tokyo police are also reported to have asked the present Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan, Mr Edmond Kofi Agbentse Deh, to accept questioning over the incident.

“The lease contract for the room was signed in September 2012, upon the presentation of the previous ambassador’s identification, and was handed over to the current envoy,” the sources said.

However, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh, said initial investigations had revealed the immediate-past Ambassador, Dr William George Mensah Brandful, signed documents regarding rental of the premise used for the illegal activity.