General News of Tuesday, 1 January 2019
In what could have easily passed for a tip-off from their Ghanaian counterparts, authorities at the JFK airport in the United States of America have detained for hours a former appointee of President John Mahama, Dr Samuel Sarpong on suspicion of drug possession and money laundering; MyNewsGh.com has confirmed.
Dr Samuel Sarpong was former President John Mahama’s appointee at the State Housing Company where his tenure is already being probed by the Akufo-Addo government for allegedly cutting dubious deals that caused the state millions. He is a Former Ashanti Regional Minister, Former Central Regional Minister Former Mayor of Kumasi.
The JFK incident was so embarrassing for Dr Sarpong that he took a flight back to Ghana immediately the airport authorities freed him.
MyNewsGh.com learnt Dr Sarpong was held and interrogated for several hours over allegations that he dealt in drugs and was in the US suspiciously. He denied all the allegations. He told them he was in the US for medical checkup. A check on him and his luggage revealed he had $12,000 in cash on him which the US authorities seized.
EOCO, CID chase Dr Sarpong, Dr Ankrah
It appears there is no cool place for Dr Sarpong as MyNewsGh.com is reliably informed that the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, are already investigating him and another former Managing Director of the State Housing Corporation (SHC), Dr. Mark Ankrah. The two Drs are alleged to have caused financial loss to the state through a number of deals.
Per the findings of a draft audit report obtained by MyNewsGhcom from April 2018, Dr. Ankrah aided a locally registered company, Proteus Ghana Limited, to access a $2.6 million loan facility without the endorsement of the company’s board and or the Minister of Works and Housing.
“Dr. Ankrah committed the SHC to some obligations by “signing two procurement contract guarantees on 5th March 2014 with Eoliem Consulting FZE, to secure a loan amounting to $2,600,000 for Proteus Ghana Limited, a contractor.” the report said in part.
Among many other deals, Dr. Sarpong also went beyond his mandate in the valuation of a piece of land, which was sold to a company for almost half its official price.
“A parcel of land was undervalued on 6th May 2016 for issue with a sixty (60) year lease at a cost of GHc147,000 (0.21×700,00) to Meyiri Company Limited. The value was vetted and the bill of GHc147,000 was sent to the client on 17th of May, 2016 for payment. The former MD (Dr. Samuel Sarpong), however, subsequently reduced the bill to GHc75,000 on the 3rd of June 2016 on a memo dated 27th May 2016 without any justifiable reason.”
Other deals include mansions valued at about US $600,000 each which were sold for around Ghc 300,000 to cronies of the top managers of then and still struggling SHC.
Dr Sarpong also allegedly masterminded the sale of over an acre of land at the Ring Way Estates valued at over a million US dollars to his friend for a meagre GHC400, 000.