Custom officer in alleged $4.3m gold theft involved in another case

Emmanuel Dwamena, a Customs officer involved in an alleged US$4.3 million gold theft, is said to be involved in another gold case before the same trial court.

The trial Circuit Court, presided over by Justice Adelaide Abui Keddy, was informed by the prosecution officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Evans Kesse, that Emmanuel Dwamena is the 19th accused in a case titled: “The Republic vs. Hasani Yamyongo and 19 others,” while he is the third accused in the instance case.

DSP Kesse said this while arguing on a bail applications filed by counsel for Dwamena, 37, and two others – Abdul Karim Lakoh, 38, a businessman, Seth Dzamesi, 43, a businessman.

He added that despite Dwamena standing trial with 19th others, after being granted bail, the customs officer allegedly went and indulge in an alleged similar crime.

The court was urged to give stringent bail conditions to deter the accused persons from further engaging in such crimes.

The prosecuting officer also informed the court that he would amend the charged and facts sheets since the fourth accused, one George Asamoah and currently at large, was wrongly inserted.

Nevertheless, the court granted the other accused persons – Abdul, Seth, and Emmanuel – standing trial bail in the sum of GH¢500,000 with three sureties each, one to be justified with landed property worth the amount.

Her ladyship further ordered that the accused persons deposit their passports with the Registry of the court, and the first accused (A1), Abdul Karim Lakoh, a Sierra Leonean, must not leave the jurisdiction either by water, air or land.

She ordered the Ghana Immigration Authority to ensure that the first accused does not flee from the jurisdiction.

The court explained that it was granting Dwamena and others bail, because until proven guilty, they were assumed innocent.

The case has been adjourned to April 18, 2013 for continuation.


Narrating the facts of the case to the court, the prosecuting officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Evans Kesse, told Her Honour Abui Keddy that the complainants in the case are Abdallah Ali, Farhad Sami and Zev Volf, citizens of the United Arab Emirates and Australia respectively.

According to him, Abdul Karim Lakoh was a Sierra Leonean, Seth Dzamesi claimed to be a businessman and resides at Tantra Hills, Emmanuel Dwamena is a Customs Officer residing at Kasoa, and George Asamoah who is at large.

He said in the month of March this year, the complainants went to Sierra Leone to buy gold, and Abdul was among the people who sold the gold to them.

According to him, Abdul promised the complainants that he would assist them to transport the precious minerals from Sierra Leone through Ghana to Dubai.

Therefore, on March 16, 2023, the complainants and Abdul arrived in Ghana at the Kotoka International Airport with Sky Airline, with their personal belongings, including the 75 kilogrammes of gold bars.

According to the prosecutor, when the complainants landed at Kotoka International Airport, Abdul managed to come out from the Arrival Hall and contacted George, who is now at large, on cell phone number 0269736510.

He added that George came to the airport in a black Range Rover vehicle to pick Abdul out of the Arrival Hall.

DSP Kesse said Abdul Karim Lakoh and George Asamoah also met Seth Dzamesi who was using customs branded Toyota Hilux pick-up with registration number GX 8386-17 and stole the bag containing the 75kg of gold bars and kept it in the Toyota pickup.

He added that whilst the complainants were at the Transit Arrival Hall, an Immigration Officer sneaked the complainants out of the Arrival Hall and handed them over to Emmanuel Dwamena, the Custom Officer, at the Departure Hall.

Emmanuel also drove the complaints to a supposed customs bonded warehouse with House No. 18, Shamo Kwei Avenue, at East Legon, in Accra, to meet Seth Dzamesi.

The prosecutor informed the court that Seth, who posed as a Customs Officer, took charge of the bag containing the 75 kilos of gold bars and sent it to his office.

DSP Kesse said Seth Dzamesi, after allegedly taking possession of the gold, forced the complainants out of his office.

Emmanuel drove the complainants back to the airport and abandoned them. The court further heard that at the airport, Abdul attempted to escape, but he was arrested and handed over to the Airport Police for investigation.

The prosecuting officer added that further background checks on Abdul indicates that the whole gold scam started in Sierra Leone with the help of Emmanuel and George, who happened to be their Ghanaian accomplices.

As a result, DSP Kesse stated that accused persons succeeded in stealing the gold bars from the Kotoka International Airport. He added that Abdul, Seth and Emmanuel admitted the offence in their cautioned statement – that they hatched the plan from Sierra Leone with the assistance of their Ghanaian accomplices to steal the gold.

The court was told that efforts were being made to arrest their accomplices.


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