…Says Scam Won’t Affect Its Operations
By Cecil Mensah
The Board of Directors and Management of Micro and Small Scales Loan Centre (MASLOC), have assures the general public that together with the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), all monies lost by the Centre through a scam are being retrieved.
According to MASLOC, all efforts are being taken to recover the monies, including interest from the perpetrators of the scam against the centre. It disclosed that some payments, have since been made to the centre.
“Our attention has been drawn to a front page story in The Daily Graphic of Tuesday, February 17, 2015 captioned, “Rot at MASLOC – Operations Director diverts GH¢1million to two (2) financial firms”, which has led to discussions on various print and electronic media”.
The management gave assurance that contrary to the publication in the Daily Graphic, it has adequate internal controls in place to mitigate any risks posed to the Centre’s operations, and that it is these controls that ensured that this scam was unearthed and subsequently reported to EOCO.
According to MASLOC, it is unfortunate that the Daily Graphic, did not contact MASLOC for its side of the story before going to press.
Management of MASLOC, explained that “a reconciliation of data against monthly loan reports conducted by Management in June, 2013 revealed some variances between cheques issued and loan disbursement reports submitted by the two regions”.
In a statement issued by Mustapaha Abubakar The Deputy Director of MASLOC, said based on this revelation, Management caused a critical review and monitoring of loan portfolios of the affected regions, which revealed that a number of cheques purported to have been issued were not disclosed in the monthly reports of some regions particularly Western and Eastern Regions.
The statement issued in Accra yesterday, said upon investigations by management, it was revealed that these undisclosed cheques were cleared through the account of Rhokida Investment Limited maintained at the South Industrial Area Branch of Universal Merchant Bank, Accra.
Management, through its investigations found out that funds from this account were withdrawn by Philip Koufie, a Director and Shareholder of Rhokida Investment Limited.
He said, further investigations revealed that Ken Kwaku Boadi Asare, the then Deputy Head of Operations and three other staffs, namely; Kingsley Boakye, Credit Officer for Eastern Region, George Owusu Sasu, Regional Manager for Western Region and Marian Ephraim Egyir, also Credit Officer for Western Region were implicated in the scam.
According to the statement, in accordance with Article 26.6 of the Conditions of Service of MASLOC a Disciplinary Committee was set up to among others to establish the facts and make recommendation to Management.
It is instructive to note that, aside the internal disciplinary process that were initiated by Management, it became prudent to report the matter to the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) in December 2013 for further investigations.
EOCO has currently concluded its investigations into the matter and the report is being finalized for onward submission to the Attorney -Generals’ Department for advice he said.
Management after concluding its internal investigations also took action against the affected staff in December 2014.
Which led to the following individuals: Ken Kwaku Boadi Asare, George Owusu Sasu and Kingsley Boakye dismissed from the Centre whilst Ms. Marian Ephraim Egyir is currently on suspension.
It assured the general public that MASLOC shall continue to work assiduously to protect the public purse but would also not shield ANY of its officers found culpable in the discharge of their daily duties.
The statement said MASLOC shall continue to alleviate poverty by creating jobs and improve the lives of the productive poor in society through the advancing of credit facilities.
It demanded that when institutions of state put in place for internal control mechanisms to checks to expose corruption, those institutions should be applauded and not vilified in the press as is being currently done to MASLOC.