At least five police officers with the Legon Police in Accra are on interdiction for allowing 11 kilos worth of gold valued at GHS1.3million to, somehow, turn into fake gold.
In a story similar to the cocaine turned baking soda scandal which twice hit the police administration, the five men are undergoing internal service enquiry. DSP Shiela Buckman, Deputy Director of Police Public Relations, stated that the officers were clearly in breach of police procedures.
The East Legon police officers seized the gold from officials of Global Resources Ltd (victims of gold scam) after arresting them in a hotel trying to buy the gold. The gold was initially tested and confirmed it was real gold but somehow when it was later tested by officials of the police head quarters, the gold had suddenly become fake.
“Five officers of the Legon Police face possible trial,” she said, adding, “a duplicate case docket has been sent to the AG to find out whether the AG will prosecute the matter or the police should go ahead,” DSP Buckman said. The cash amount of GHS1.3 million which officials of Global Resources Ltd paid for the original gold cannot also be traced, DSP Packman admitted, explaining that two other persons are on the police wanted list for bolting with the money.
On 12th November 2016, officials of Global Resources Ltd, met Mr. Courage Gegepe Kobby, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Union Investment Agencies, a supposed gold dealer to transact business. Mr Gegepe had in his possession 13 kilos of gold which was tested by the buyers and found to be real gold.
The buyers being officials of Global Resources Ltd paid for the gold but before they could seal the transaction police officers from Legon raided the hotel and arrested them for buying stolen gold. They were sent to the Legon Police station put in police custody with the 13 kilos of gold taken away from them by DSP Mr. Emmanuel Basintale, the East Legon Police Commander. The gold was supposed to be an exhibit.
The victims were later sent to court and charged with buying stolen gold. They were later released. Whilst in custody, the victims claimed to have witnesses who saw the police commander return to his office at 4:00 am apparently, to take away the gold. Later on the same commander was reported to have brought the gold for testing but this time it was fake.
James Barbieri, at a press conference in Accra Tuesday said “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.”
Barbeiri said he does not understand how real gold will turn fake in the hands of the police. He is also accusing top police officers of trying to cover up but the Deputy Police PRO insists nothing will be put under wraps.
DSP Shiela Buckman said the police administration is vigorously investigating the matter and have only recently published pictures of some of the suspects.
“The police will not hide anything,” she assured, adding all the officers found culpable will be dealt with.