Three blow over ¢1bn at TMA

From Richard Attenkah, Tema

Kempes Ofosuware, TMA bossThe Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) is investigating three revenue collectors who have hijacked six of the assembly’s value books worth GH¢120,202.27.

Value Books  are used for the collection of revenue, including property rates, business operating licenses, and sand winning waybills among others, worth over ¢1.2 billion

The three officers allegedly connived and used the first two letters of their names to register a company called TONYCA, with which they sign for the Value Books, using forged names to divert monies collected from various revenue sources into their pockets.

The modus operandi of the revenue collectors was that they collect a number of Value Books on behalf of their company, TONYCA Enterprise, use it to collect sand winning and other fees from the unsuspecting public, and then pocket the money.

Mr. Anthony Oppong, Mrs. Clarice Annan, and Mrs. Nora Yeboah, who are all chief revenue superintendents of the Assembly, have been asked to stay away from their assigned duties, and all activities, or operations relating to the revenue mobilisation and generation of the assembly, with immediate effect.

They have also been asked to hand over all documents belonging to the assembly that relate to revenue mobilisation, and all Value Books and other documents in their possession to the Metropolitan Finance Officer, immediately. Furthermore, they have been banned from collecting value books from the Assembly’s value books store.

According to investigations conducted by The Chronicle a couple of months ago, the regional monitoring team of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department visited the assembly and conducted investigation into its operations.

At the end of the operation, a meeting, dubbed ‘Exit Conference,’ was held between the regional monitoring team and management of the assembly on December 8, 2010, and it was discovered that the three officers had refused to account for six out of the 22 value books they collected from the assembly’s value books store.

The paper gathered that the three officers, however, managed to declare one of the six books (No. GCR A5714601-5714700) they had told the regional monitoring team was missing which they actually used secretly to collect GH¢20,202.27.

They have nonetheless refused to comment on the whereabouts of the remaining five Value Books, thus setting tongues wagging within the confines of the Assembly.

“They misapplied one of the value books, No. GCR A5714601-5714700 intended for the sand winning waybill, to secretly collect revenues from other unauthorised sources, e.g. Business Operating Permit (BOP) and property rates, etc, amounting to GH¢20,202.27,” The Chronicle source disclosed.

The paper gathered further that a formal complaint had been made to the Regional Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate the matter.
“On the basis of the foregoing, you are hereby formally informed of the crime, and requested to institute a thorough investigation into the matter, to enable the Assembly get to the bottom of these misdeeds,” a letter from the TMA addressed to the Greater Accra Regional Director of EOCO, which was sighted by the paper.

When contacted on phone, the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Robert Kempes Ofosuware, confirmed the story in an interview with The Chronicle, and said the three suspects had been asked to step aside, so that they would not interfere with the ongoing investigations.

He explained that the issue came out after the Greater Accra Regional Monitoring Team of the Accountant General’s Department came to audit the operations of the assembly.
Mr. Ofosuware hinted that he had instructed the Metro Coordinating Director to officially write to inform officials of the Greater Accra Regional office of the Economic and Organised Crime Office to conduct investigations into the matter, and submit its report to the assembly for action to be taken.

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