Envoys, Mission Heads Indicted

Some Ghanaian ambassadors and heads of missions abroad have been indicted in the 2013 Auditor- General’s report, which lists a litany of cases bordering on embezzlement, misappropriation and ‘causing financial loss….’

The heads involved specifically relate to those in Germany, iran, israel and Zambia.

According to Section 4 of the Financial Guidelines for the operations of Ghana honorary consulate, all consular fees received should be paid monthly into a special account.

In the Warsaw Consulate, â‚¬23,295 in consular fees collected between 2009 to January 2010 could not be accounted for. An amount of €13,362.44 in refundable rent deposits which should have been refunded by two landlords – michael Longard and Philip Holzachneider – had gone unpaid since April 2012.

In iran’s Tehran mission, Honorary Consul General Dr. Shahid rashid Butt collected $12,144 in visa fees between march 2011 and 2012, but failed to account for the amount.

The mission, in 2013, claims it spent over $5,800 on eight stranded Ghanaian boys brought to iran by a Ghanaian football agent under the pretext of finding them professional clubs, but there was no signatory to the beneficiary Ghanaians that that amount was spent on them.

The report says Ahmed Hassan continued to receive child allowances meant for persons under 18 years although his son, Saani Hassan, had turned 19 years 5 months by 2013. He continued to receive â‚¬2,921 for 17 more months beyond the regulations.

In israel, the Tel Aviv mission showed that although €304,905 had been transferred by the Controller and Accountant General as remittances to, only €302,212 was received – showing a shortfall of about €2,693.

The same practice was detected at the Lusaka mission in Zambia where a remittance shortfall of $10,670 occurred between may 2012 and September 2013.

The Auditor-General has recommended that officials involved be made to refund the monies.

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