Emmanuel Dwamena, an officer of Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been accused, together with three others, of stealing 75 kilos of gold valued at US$4,303,234.00.
The 37-year-old Customs Officer, together with his alleged accomplices – Abdul Karim Lakoh, 38, a businessman, Seth Dzamesi, 43, a businessman and George Asamoah, at large, allegedly stole the gold at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The four accused persons have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime, to wit stealing and stealing.
Abdul, first accused (A1), Seth (A2) and Emmanuel (A3) have all pleaded not guilty to the offence, when brought before an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Adelaide Abui Keddy, yesterday.
However, George’s plea was not taken because he is on the run.
The court has remanded them into police custody to reappear on Monday, March 27, 2023.
Narrating 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 United Arab Emirates and Australia respectively.
According to him, Abdul Karim Lakoh is 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 2023, the complainants went to Sierra Leone to buy Gold and Abdul was among the people who sold the gold to the complaints.
According 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 kilos 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 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 the 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 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 Airport and abandoned them at the Airport. The court further heard that at the Airport, Abdul attempted to escape but he was arrested and handed to Airport Police for investigation.
The prosecuting officer added that further background checks on Abdul indicates that the whole gold scandal started in Sierra Leone with the help of Emmanuel and George, who happen to be their Ghanaian accomplices.
As a result, DSP Kesse stated that accused persons succeeded in stealing the gold bars from Kotoka International Airport. He added that Abdul, Seth and Emmanuel admitted the offence in their caution statement that they hatched the plan from Sierra Leone, with the assistance of Ghanaian accomplices to steal the gold.
The court was told that efforts are being made to arrest their accomplices.