Corrupt police administration covering up culprits in $1.3m gold scam – US investor

The Director of Green Global Resources Ltd, the company at the centre of the $1.3 gold scam that led to the interdiction of the Legon Police Commander has accused the police administration of cover up.

Addressing the press today [Tuesday], James Barberi took a swipe at the police administration for stalling investigations into the matter three months after the commander was booted out. He described the police as a corrupt institution whose action may have negative impact on the country.

‘’Unfortunately, the country, Ghana in the long run is the loser since her Security Services are apparently corrupt by cheating and driving potential investors away instead of protecting them. What prevents DSP/Mr Basintale or the Ghana Police from producing the 13 kilos of gold he personally collected in his office back to the victims?

It is also alleged that no entries were made in the Station diaries of the East Legon Police about the arrest, detention of the victims and seizure of the gold; no receipt given to the victims, the press statement said.

Below is the full details of the press statement:

SS CONFERENCE BY GREEN GLOBAL RESOURCES LTD. OVER GHC1.3 MILLION WORTH OF GOLD CEASED BY THE LEGON POLICE

Introduction

Good morning ladies and gentlemen from the inky fraternity. We, ie., Green Global Resources Ltd., appreciate your honouring of this invitation at a very short time to this Press Conference to express our concerns and misgivings about critical and criminal issue bothering us, Green Global Resources Ltd., a company which is duly registered at Registered General Department of Ghana to do business in the country.

NOW THE ISSUES:

Ladies and Gentlemen, On 12th November 2016, our company and for that matter two Managers and two additional representatives of Global Resources Ltd. all United States of America (USA) citizens experienced a very unfortunate incident of fraud and corruption while performing its legal business duties with one Mr. Courage Gegepe Kobby, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Union Investment Agencies.

By way of background information, I would like to state that: Global Resources Ltd, USA agreed to purchase 11 kilos of gold worth one million three hundred thousand Ghana cedis (Ghc1.3m) from Mr. Courage Gegepe Kobby, the CEO of General Union Investment Agencies.

In less than ten minutes just after the transaction was completed and the cash was taken away by Mr. Courage, a team of Policemen suddenly appeared in the Conference room of the Tang Palace Hotel, arrested the buyers and took them to the East Legon Police station without any explanation or reason.

They were later told that they were arrested for buying stolen gold. They were detained overnight in police cells after their Passports, cash on them and Mobile phones were collected. Most traumatic personal experience for these four law abiding USA citizens.

In all, the buyers paid for eleven kilos of gold but were in possession of thirteen (13) kilos which they paid for since the quality of two (2) were tested and found to be below their standard.

They used their own technical gold testing equipment and were very convinced of the quality before the payment was made. The buyers held onto the 13 kilos in a box on the way to the police station when one of the arresting Police officers hinted to them that they were being scammed.

When they met the East Legon Police Commander, DSP Mr. Emmanuel Basintale in his office, they were required to hand all the 13 kilos in the box to him personally but he did not give them any receipt or any documentary proof; he rather pushed them into the police cells.

A fellow foreign businessman friend to the victims who came in to the Police station to assist and if possible arrange their release was also arrested and detained in a similar manner by the Police.

All their phones, passports and cash on them were collected from them immediately when they were arrested and only returned to them on Monday, 14th November 2016.

The buyers were only released on bail in the afternoon of Sunday, the 13th November 2016 after Green Global business associate went and confronted Mr Basintale, the East Legon Police Commander in his office that afternoon before he granted them the bail.

Whilst buyers were in detention about 04:00am, the dawn of Sunday, the driver of the buyers who was waiting outside and with some other persons allegedly saw Mr Basintale back to his office and they strongly suspected that he came and took the seized gold away.

Shockingly, on 14/11/16, they were sent to Court by the East Legon Police and charged for buying stolen gold. On the release of the victims, they hired Attorneys who brought a petition to the CID Hqrs on their behalf on 15/11/2016 for Police assistance and were subsequently referred to the DVS unit of the CID Hqrs for investigation.

The buyers were very hopeful that they were going to retrieve their gold since it was supposed to very safe in the custody of the East Legon Police.

At the DVS, the victims showed some pictures they took of the business transaction to the DVS commander and he was surprised and told them that he knew the scammer and also brought out a picture of Mr Courage, wearing the same dress he wore whilst cheating them, they became very hopeful at this point that the Commander was honest and definitely going to help them apprehend the criminals.

The DVS investigators also told them that the scammer, Mr Courage was already on Police bail involving previous Gold scam cases involving foreign investors at both the DVS of the CID Hqrs and the Accra Regional Police Hqrs. To their dismay, the case was suddenly withdrawn from the DVS unit and referred to a different Unit at the CID Hqrs.

The investors got frightened of this police corruption and behaviour towards them and left the country when they realised that a lot of Senior Police officers at different levels were behind the scammers and were also repeatedly been warned by many local people that they should forget about their gold and money since Ghana was so corrupt and no one was going to help them.

The victims’ lawyer also met the former IGP but he also could not assist them; heightening their fears. DSP/Mr Basintale surprisingly, had been at post without any disciplinary action taken against him until he was interdicted recently in March 2017 by the new IGP and the subsequent media coverage.

Ref: Daily Guide “Police Commander busted for GHc1.6m gold fraud”, and was also subsequently published on www.myjoyonline.com on 17th -03-2017. It should be noted that the former Dp/Dir/CID, Mr. Denis was very much aware of all these unfortunate developments and was initially very instrumental in the calling of the case from East Legon Police to the CID Hqrs. Unfortunately, he was also aware of Mr Courage Kobby’s cases at the CID Hqrs and the Regional CID but never arrested Mr. Courage Gegebe Courage till date and has also not helped the victims.

He allegedly was involved in the withdrawing of the case from the DVS to the new investigating team which he has a strong hold over. A lot of top Senior Officers and some other junior ranks including some BNI officers are alleged to be protecting the scammers and Mr Courage is always allegedly bragging about his immunity from the whole Police Service and the Courts.

Unfortunately, the country, Ghana in the long run is the loser since her Security Services are apparently corrupt by cheating and driving potential investors away instead of protecting them. What prevents DSP/Mr Basintale or the Ghana Police from producing the 13 kilos of gold he personally collected in his office back to the victims? It is also alleged that no entries were made in the Station diaries of the East Legon Police about the arrest, detention of the victims and seizure of the gold; no receipt given to the victims.

DSP Basintale allegedly brought some gold to be tested by the new investigation team from the CID Hqrs but the victims were not even invited to be present or to identify the gold bars before testing which automatically ended in a negative result as fake gold. The new investigate team was alleged to be composed under the supervision of Mr. Denis and unsurprisingly they have not even tried to consult the initial investigators for any update till date.

Mr Courage Kobby Gegebe is still a free man going around possibly defrauding other innocent victims and the CID allegedly are now pretending to be looking for him and the other fraud culprits.

CCTV footages of the transactions and individuals are available and could have been collected from the Tang Palace where the transaction took place for further investigation; the collection of the CCTV footages was already put in motion officially by the DVS investigators but nothing has been done since the docket was collected from them.

A senior CID Officer has some photographs of the transaction which were given him by the victims. Likewise, the DVS who have Mr. Courage on bail with a surety should also be in the position to make him available for questioning when needed.

After the media reportage of the welcomed interdiction of DSP. Basintale and his fellow policemen, the investors were privileged to meet with the new IGP on March 24th 2017 but were disappointed with the outcome of their trip when they had to go back to the US apparently achieving nothing.

They were verbally promised that they will be collecting their money for them and will at the same time be going to court with criminals Their fears became heightened again when after three months no progress has been made with this unbearable case of Police corruption and breach of public trust.

Above all Global Resources Ltd. would like to ask these following questions; Who reported that the gold bought by Global Resources were stolen from them?

When was it reported to the Police at East Legon?

Why did the East Legon Police Commander take the gold from the buyers without giving them any receipts?

How come the gold which was tested before buying as real gold then in the hands of DSP Basintale turned to be fake when, DSP. Basintale sent them for testing without Green Golden Resources Ltd. representatives at the Police Headquarters after weeks in his possession?

Why did they only arrest the buyers of the gold and leave the sellers?

If according to the police, the gold were stolen, why was the money not returned to the buyers, (Golden Resources)?

Why were the buyers processed for court the next day, Monday and charged for buying stolen gold but the sellers were not arrested?

And lastly, we are also pleading with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director General of CID to change the Investigator handling the case, Inspector Lohdonu, for a new Investigator to take over because we have lost trust in the way he is handling it when we last met with him and the CID Boss a fortnight ago at the CID Headquarters.

It must be stated categorically that the 13 boxes of gold that was confiscated have still not been returned to Green Global Resources Ltd. and we believe it is in the possession of the Police Service.

We are therefore calling on the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Mr. David Asante Appeatu, Inspector General of Police and Mr. Bright Oduro, Director General of the CID to act on the information provided above to act upon to retrieve our money or the bars of gold are given to us.

The Green Global Resource Ltd has a lot of investments around and ready to do legitimate business in Ghana but the managers are becoming apprehensive whether they can come and continue to invest in Ghana or not.

If the perpetrators of this scam are not brought to book, it will have effect on the country’s image which may heighten the fears of potential foreign investors who may be willing to come and invest in Ghana.

Once again, Green Global Resources thank you all for your kind attention despite been on short notice.

Signed.

James Barbieri

Green Global Resources Ltd.

(Director of Strategic & Business Dev’t.)