Former CEO of defunct UT Bank discharged but fresh charges levelled against him

Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of defunct UT Bank, who is charged with stealing and money laundering, was discharged yesterday by an Accra circuit court.

However, the prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Nyamekye told the court presided by Justice Emmanuel Essandoh, that prosecution would file  fresh case against Mr Amoabeng at the High Court.

Amoabeng, who made his first appearance on January 14, this year, has denied the charges in the case that involved GH¢51,334,338.00 and $8.6 million.

He was granted GH¢110 million bail with two sureties and ordered to deposit his travel documents at the court’s registry. 

ASP Nyamekye had told the court that a special investigation team received a report from the PriceWaterhouse through the Bank of Ghana about suspicious transactions relating to UT Bank.

According to the prosecutor, UT Bank engaged in some off-balance sheet transactions log, issuing investment certificates to investors in the name of the bank.

ASP Nyamekye said amounts totalling GH¢51,334,387 and $8,612,829 were later transferred to UT Holdings.

He said it was discovered that although UT Bank issued investment certificates in the name of the bank, the amounts were never credited to the customers’ account, but transferred to UT Holdings.

ASP Nyamekye said the rates of interest issued to each investor varied and was subject to negotiation.

The policeman stated that investigations also revealed that 15 transactions were identified in respect of 12 institutions whose funds sum up to GH¢51,334, 387.00 and $8,612,829.33 with UT Holdings.

In a related development, the Attorney-General (A-G) yesterday filed fresh charges against Johnson Pandit Asiama, the former Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mr Amoabeng, and four others at the Accra High court for alleged dishonest appropriation of $7million and causing financial loss of  GH₵413.09 million to the Republic.

This was hours after the A-G discharged Mr Amoabeng of the charges against him at the circuit court.

The A-G had alleged that Mr Asiama in 2016, wilfully caused financial loss of GH₵413.09 million to the Republic.

The accused, charged together with Raymond Amanfu, UT Holdings Limited, Catherine Johnson and Robert Kwesi Armah are facing more than 40 charges, including dishonesty, fraud and conspiracy to commit crime.

The A-G had said that Amoabeng in February 2014, dishonestly appropriated $7,000,000, which was entrusted to UT Bank.

It said UT Holdings Limited, in April 2014, abetted Mr Amoabeng to dishonestly appropriate GH₵2,235,351.45, which was invested in UT Bank in trust for SSNIT SOS Fund.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, stated that Mrs Johnson in May 2014, endeavoured to deceive a High Court judge by representing to the Registrar of the High Court that $7,000,000 had been invested in the name of the Registrar at 2% per annum, a statement she knew to be false.

According to the A-G, Mr Amoabeng in April, 2014, dishonestly appropriated GH₵2,235,351.45, which was invested in UT Bank in trust for SSNIT SOS Fund.

Mrs Obuobisa said that Mrs Johnson and  Armah, in October,  2017, acted together with a common purpose to commit crime namely fabrication of evidence.

Also the state alleged that UT Holdings Limited, in August, 2014, abetted Mr Amoabeng to dishonestly appropriate GH₵1,383,374.58, which was invested in UT Bank in trust for the Forestry Commission.

It said UT Holdings Limited in August, 2014, abetted Mr Amoabeng in August, 2014, to dishonestly appropriate GH₵1,813,077.52, which was invested in UT Bank in trust for the ECG Staff Fund.

Additionally, the A-G stated that UT Holdings Limited, in August, 2014, abetted Mr Amoabeng in August, 2014 to dishonestly appropriate $2,799,917, which was invested in UT Bank in trust for the WAICA-Re.

The A-G said UT Holdings in 2014 and December 2014, abetted Mr Amoabeng to dishonestly appropriate GH₵16,691,984.00, which was invested in UT Bank in trust for Databank Financial Services.

That UT Holdings Limited in May 2015 abetted Mr Amoabeng to dishonestly appropriate GH₵2,064,276.03, which was invested in UT Bank in trust for SIC Life Company Ltd.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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