Reports reaching The Herald on the confusion between the National Security Ministry and the Interior Ministry, over who has the mandate to authorize the importation and use of armour-plated bullion vans to move money across the country, reveal that the latter has prevailed, knocking off the incursions from the Security Ministry.
Sources familiar with the issue, have revealed that the Interior Ministry, has taken over the issue and declared as invalid an authorization license dished out to Brompton Ghana Limited, a security company by the National Security.
Owners of Brompton, have been using their ties with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s family to push their way through.
A fresh application is said to have been submitted by Brompton Ghana Limited to the Ministry of Interior led by Ambrose Dery for critical review and a thorough investigation.
But ahead of the approval from the Interior Ministry, The Herald is informed that a particular state bank has agreed to yank off a substantial percentage of its bullion van operations and hand it over to the owners of Brompton Ghana Limited despite its lack of experience in the field.
What is even worse is that the armour-plated bullion vans are not yet in town, because the Interior Ministry, has not authorized the importation of the vehicles.
The board and management of this state-owned bank, are seen capitulating at directives from the seat of government; Jubilee House to create a sweetheart deal for Brompton Ghana Limited, although fully aware of the absence of the armour-plated bullion vans in Ghana.
The Herald, on Wednesday reported on confusion between the National Security Ministry and that of the Interior over the directive from the Ghana Police Service to all Commercial Banks in the country to use armour-plated bullion vans to move money across the country.
This follows the rampant armed attacks on the existing vehicles, mainly retrofitted pickups leading to the loss of lives including policemen escorting huge volumes of currency from one destination to another.
The confusion, The Herald learnt had come from what the Interior Ministry led by Ambrose Dery believes was an attempt by the National Security Ministry led by Albert Kan Dapaa to usurp its role by granting permission to a heavily connected private company to import the specialized vehicles into the country for the bullion services.
The Interior Ministry has been in-charge of licensing the operations of private security companies and believes the importation of armour-plated vehicles into the country by companies registered as security firms, falls directly under its mandate and not that of the National Security Ministry.
People familiar with the matter, revealed to The Herald that the confusion was sparked by the National Security Ministry’s dealings with a private called Brompton.
The National Security Ministry had given it what was thought to be an authorization to the Brompton to import the vehicle into Ghana to begin operating bullion services.
Bromtom, The Herald picked up, was mentioned as having an overwhelming connection to the Presidency, and gets path cleared by phone calls.
What is shocking is that the company has no prior experience in the area of the bullion van operation but its owners according to The Herald sources are riding high on their connection to Jubilee House to get the needed security clearance among other things to get the armour-plated vehicles into Ghana to begin moving money across the country.
The Herald is informed that the National Security Ministry and the Ministry of Interior have been locked up in various meetings to have the matter of who has the power to allow the importation of the bullion vans by Bromtom into town.
Exactly a year ago, the Ghana Police Service cautioned banks across the country as far as the transportation of cash is concerned.
In a statement issued by its Public Affairs Directorate, the then Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, on Monday, 14th June 2021 directed banks to ensure that they procure fortified armoured vehicles to cart cash within the country.
The press release signed by Supt. Sheila Abayie-Buckman further warned the Service is ready to withdraw their regular escorts if the financial institutions fail to comply with the directive by the end of this month.
“The IGP is also reminding the Association of Bankers to provide fortified armoured vehicles for carting currencies by the close of June 2021 as earlier agreed between them and the Police Service, else the Police will withdraw its officers from escort duties.”
This comes in the wake of rampant robbery attacks on bullion vans in recent times.
In December 2020, the Bank of Ghana after a meeting with Cash Operations Managers directed all Deposit-Taking Institutions (DTIs) to acquire amour-plated bullion vans for cash operations.
Six months down the line, not much has been seen in that regard.
Security analysts have also described the vehicles currently being used in the said operations as below standard.
However, the attack on yet another van, which resulted in the killing of a police officer and a hawker at Adedenkpo, in James Town on Monday, June 14, 2021 brought the issue back to the fore.
The driver of the van, also sustained injuries and was admitted at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment. The ladies on the bullion van, both tellers of Mon-Tran, escaped unhurt but were sent to the hospital to be treated for trauma.
On the back of that, Mr Oppong-Boanuh, warned that all financial organisations who flout the order will have their police attachments recalled.