Business News of Thursday, 26 February 2015
Citi Business News has learnt that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has commenced investigations into the activities of the ARB Apex Bank. The ARB Apex Bank is a “mini” central bank for Rural and Community Banks (RCB)’s under the supervision of the Bank of Ghana.
According to a letter from EOCO sighted by Citi Business News the ARB Apex bank is being investigated by EOCO for procurement fraud and other serious offenses.
A letter from EOCO to the managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank said the investigation is in the areas of procurement of a communication link for wide area network, sale of bank vehicles to staff and the purchase of vehicles by the bank.
The letter requested the MD of Apex Bank to furnish the Executive Director of EOCO information on its agreement with STL Ghana Limited and a copy of the board’s approval for the procurement.
EOCO has also requested the bank to provide the type of vehicle, date of original purchase, cost of vehicle, date of disposal, and name of purchase at the time of disposal and amount paid on sale of the banks vehicles to staff.
EOCO has also requested the ARB Apex Bank to furnish it with the schedule of all vehicles purchased by the bank from 2010 to 2014 including vehicle brand, model, year of purchase, the dealer and conditions associated with the sale.
A report from the bank recently revealed that a number of rural and community banks under its supervision are likely to go under in the coming weeks if measures are not put in place to save them.
Citi Business News sources say management of the Apex rather than saving these banks are putting them at risk for which EOCO is investigating it.
Citi Business News gathers that huge sums of money is being used to renovate the bank’s Kumasi and Bolgatanga branches while 5 new plush 2015 models of VW (with registration numbers GR 4351-15) estimated at a verified value of over GHC600,000 parked in their premises for management have been purchased and fully paid for.
The ARB Apex Bank whose staff last week demonstrated against management over salary increment of more than 20 percent is being investigated by EOCO. Last week staff of ARB Apex Bank demonstrated against management over poor conditions of service.
The workers are calling for a 20 percent increment in their salaries wile management is offering 10 percent.