Police probes ‘suspicious’ fire outbreak at Maritime Authority

Business News of Thursday, 5 October 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

2017-10-05

Kwame Owusu MADirector General of the Authority, Kwame Owusu

The Director of Finance at the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Ohemeng-Tinyase, has been invited by the police for questioning after fire razed the finance department of the Authority last week under questionable circumstances.

The Assistant Director of Finance and the department’s secretary, along with some other officials of the Authority, are also being probed by the police. According to the Director General of the Authority, Kwame Owusu, the finance department got burnt few hours after auditors finished their first day of a two-week forensic audit of the facility.

Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Owusu disclosed that the “police has been here to do their investigation.”

“…Of course, when there is fire destroying, you would expect something to be done. So there is an investigation ongoing with the police… the Director of Finance, his assistant and the secretary, whose office got burnt, they were called in but other people, including myself, have also been called to the police station to give a statement.”

Records of the Maritime Authority dating back to 2002 were destroyed as the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) had begun a forensic audit into the operations of the authority.

In effect, the audit in question has been effectively suspended because of the fire, the Director-General noted.

“…Because the documents that you need to use to conduct the audit was brought there so obviously, it might affect the audit. [so as we speak now], it has been suspended,” Mr. Owusu noted.

The Director-General said the Authority in 2016, lost GH¢7 million as a result of financial impropriety, citing the lack of prudent financial management as responsible for the situation.

There are some suspicions that the fire may have been a case of arson to cover some malfeasance, but Mr, Owusu stated that, at the moment, such insinuations were all speculation “because you cannot indict people unless they go through the process.”

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