Akufo-Addo must take action on JoyNews’ gold smuggling exposé – Dr Manteaw
Co-Chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr Steve Manteaw has called on President Akufo-Addo to act quickly on investigations uncovering gold smuggling out of the country.
This comes at the back of a JoyNews’ exposé, ‘Busted: Gold smugglers’ which brought to light how some security operatives and politically connected individuals have been aiding a gold smuggling syndicate illegally to export gold through the country’s air and seaports.
“Now that Joy FM has taken the responsibility to use its own resources to do this documentary, I will expect that the President will take a personal interest in the findings of this documentary.”
Meanwhile, Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee together with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is set to investigate the development.
But speaking on PM: Express Wednesday, Dr Steve Manteaw said although the CID is probing the findings “I will expect that the President himself pays close attention to whatever investigations that will be conducted to their firm.”
Applauding the efforts of the station, the Co-Chair of GHEITI stated that it is better late than never.
“I was very much intrigued when Joy began this particular investigation, I was actually alerted and I thought it was a good thing,” he said.
According to the findings, a total of 7 billion dollars worth of gold were exported to the United Arab Emirates, however, only 2 billion were recorded in Ghana.
The shocking part of the discovery, he told host Evans Mensah, was “the figures being reported by the UAE government and Bank of Ghana did not add up and I would have expected that he [Akufo-Addo] would have taken a personal interest.”
Dr Manteaw opined that the president should have directed the state investigative bodies to “look into their firms, unfortunately, that did not happen.”
He noted that the country needs every revenue lost in that regard restored for development.
“We need these monies to finance our national development programmes.”
In 2018, President Akufo-Addo made known that about $5 billion worth of the country’s gold could not be accounted for.
Dr Manteaw, therefore, recommended that perpetrators identified in the documentary or involved in such acts must not go unpunished.
“And to ensure that nobody who is implicated in this scion is left to go scout free” he added.
Source: Miriam A. Cobblah