Painstaking investigations by the National Security Council and corroborated by Swift International, a Dubai based company, has revealed that the 1.5 tonnes of gold, priced at US$62 million, which left the shores of Ghana on December 31, 2012 is not gold, but a mixture of metal, callously put together to defraud innocent buyers.
The investigations started in the wake of speculations, spewed by Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that President John Dramani Mahama, had airlifted US$62 million gold bars to defray a loan, he had taken from the Iranian Government to finance his 2012 campaign.
Interestingly, one Joseph Kwame Donkor, the NPP Constituency Chairman for Gomoa West in the Central Region, is rather being processed for criminal trial, as having been part of the gold scam, in which a Dubai-based company was duped.
But Ghana’s National Security and the Dubai-base Swift International, have disclosed that the substance after their investigations revealed that it was made up of 0.468 percent of Zinc, 1.24 percent of Tin, 0.310 percent of Lead, 0.326 percent of Iron, 0.101 percent of Silicon, 0.644 percent of Copper and 0.031 percent of Aluminum.
Mr. Marcus Awelinga, a Senior Investigator at the National Security Council Secretariat, who made the findings of the investigations known at a press conference in Accra, said the rest of the bars contain 025 percent of Gold and 96.13 percent of Nickel.
The outcome of investigations conducted into the widely publicized story of an aircraft carrying the said Gold which was detained in Turkey due to the crew’s inability to produce valid documents, including airway bills on the cargo was also made known by National Security officials.
According to the investigators, the aircraft left Kotoka International Airport (KIA) at 22: 20 hours on December 31, and was believed to be carrying the so-called gold bars onboard.
Mr. Marcus Awelinga, said further checks conducted revealed that the aircraft (airbus -300-BAF) was a ULS airline cargo plane with registration number TCABK, and not a Turkish cargo aircraft as earlier publicized in the early part of this month.
“The gold was supplied by Omanye Gold Mining Limited (OGML) and one Mr. Anakwa Asante, Head of Operations of Aviation Handling Services (AHS), the company which handled the aircraft at KIA, said when he boarded the aircraft to receive the crew, he sighted only empty pallets on board”.
According to Mr. Asante, during pre-departure formalities, fifteen boxes (all similar in size to an A4 sheet box) containing the said “gold bars” were opened for inspection in the presence of personnel of the Ghana Revenue Authority; the Customs division before it were moved to the Nick TC scanner.
He noted that the cargo was observed, analyzed and concluded that it was normal.
He said, subsequently the cargo was conveyed to the aircraft which had been parked at bay 13.
Mr. Marcus Awelinga, explained that even though their investigation proved that Omanye Gold indeed, supplied mineral samples, Peter Kofi Bedzra, a director of the company, now deceased had insisted that what they supplied was gold bars and not geological samples.
Meanwhile, his two accomplices namely; Frank Mould otherwise known as Pipeline, a freight forwarder and Joseph Kwame Donkor, the NPP’s Constituency Chairman for Gomoa West in the Central Region, have been re-arraigned before the courts for smuggling illicit products without authority.
Speaking in an interview with The Herald, Director of the Geological Survey Department, Mr. J .A. Dodoo said, the claims by the Directors of OMGL cannot be true, because 1.5 tonnes of gold is equivalent of thirty bags of Portland cements.
He insisted that it cannot be true for such products to be bought for geological sampling at the department, without anybody raising an alarm, adding no mining company in Ghana has the license to export refined gold.
“Not even Ashanti Gold and Newmont Gold Mining, have the capacity to export 1.5 tonnes of gold. It is difficult to come by this tonnage of gold in recent times”, Mr. Dodoo said, reiterating an already held view that the transaction was a 419 gold scam.
On his part, the lawyer for the Swift Investment company in Dubai, the intended buyers of the 1.5 tonnes of gold which had been returned into the country and currently sitting at the Aviance cargo village, Mr. Bernard Owusu Twumasi, disclosed that his client was not interested in pursuing the case, but only interested in handing over the samples to National Security.