Prez did not sell gold to Iran —report

Investigations conducted by the National Security Council (NSC) have established that the 1.5 tonnes of supposed gold alleged to have been sold by President John Dramani Mahama to Iran is not true.

The gold was supposed to settle Ghana’s financial commitment to Iran over an unknown transaction.

The NSC said its investigations had revealed that the samples supposed to have been gold were not gold after all.

Briefing the press in Accra yesterday on the outcome of the investigations, Mr Marcus Awelinga of the NSC said investigations indicated that 30 boxes of what was believed to be gold did not contain gold.

Rather, they contained substances whose chemical components comprised 0.468 per cent of zinc, 1.24 per cent of tin, 0.310 per cent of iron, 0.101 per cent of silicon, 0.644 per cent of copper, 0.031 per cent of aluminium, 0.25 per cent of gold and 96.13 per cent of nickel.

On December 31, 2012, there were news reports that President Mahama had sent 1.5 tonnes of gold to Iran to settle financial commitments over an unknown transaction.

The consignment was detained in Turkey because the crew could not produce a valid airway bill on it.

The issue generated a lot of criticism in the media and, therefore, the NSC initiated an investigation into the matter.

Findings of the investigation
According to Mr  Awelinga, investigations by the NSC had shown that the aircraft which carried the supposed 1.5 tonnes of gold originated from the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) at 10.20 p.m. on December 31 2012.

He said checks conducted revealed that the supposed gold was actually supplied by Omanye Gold Mining Limited (OGML) and not President Mahama.

Mr  Awelinga said Mr Peter Kofi Bedzra, the Director of OGML, now deceased, admitted supplying “gold bars” and that they were loaded from the KIA.

He said despite OGML being a registered company, it appeared to be an obscure enterprise.

He said the office of OGML could not be located.
He explained that that was because its address provided at the Registrar-General’s Department could not be traced.

According to Mr Awelinga, the consignment of the supposed gold had been returned to Ghana from Dubai and was now in the custody of Aviance, waiting clearance by OGML (owners).

He said OGML had, however, sent a petition to court, claiming it was gold that it exported.

He said investigations were ongoing to unravel the truth or otherwise of that claim.

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