An international criminal gold syndicate has been intercepted by the Ghana Armed Forces, working through its Department of Defence Intelligence and Military Police.
According to a press release from the Ghana Armed Forces, the syndicate had attempted to defraud a US citizen of an amount estimated at $2.75m in the gold transaction.
This comes on the back of intelligence gathered on the syndicate by the GAF team. It resulted in the arrest of 20 suspects, comprising 17 Ghanaians and three foreign nationals from Burkina Faso, Chad and Nigeria at about 1530hrs at a warehouse at Aplaku, in the Weija general area, Accra.
At the time of arrest, 30 twenty-foot containers, which comprised metallic boxes and bags of GHACEM cement, were found at the warehouse.
“Further search in the warehouse led to the confiscation of two Honda CR-V vehicles, a Berretta pistol with 9 rounds, 23 gold plated bars suspected to be fake gold bars, 31 smartphones, 6 mobiles, two GOTA phones and two fake 100-dollar bills,” said the release.
The release added that preliminary investigations conducted had revealed that the US citizen “is the owner of International Marathon United Company, which had contracted Messsrs Ocean Link Mining Ltd to transport 2,185kg worth of gold bars worth $2,750,000, to Egypt beginning February 20, 2023.”
According to the release, the arrested persons and exhibits have, since, been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service for further action.
Similarly, in 2021, two Chinese and a Ghanaian were arrested by the National Security Secretariat (NSS) in Accra over the movement of 21 gold bars from Gbane in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region to the national capital.
The three, Rayn Lee, Goa and Michael Atta, were picked up at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on June 1 when they touched down from Tamale with the gold bars said to be valued at about $600,000.
They are said to be workers of Shaanxi Mining (Ghana) Company Limited, a Chinese firm that was licensed to provide mine support services to small-scale miners in the Gbane area, and EARL International Group, a sister firm.
In court, counsel for Yenyeya, Madam Juliet Dale Agboh, revealed that the three persons were staff of EARL Group, who played various roles in illegal mining of gold on his client’s concession.
“These are Chinese who invaded the concession of a small-scale miner, mined illegally in contravention of Ghanaian laws, and they were caught lifting gold to sell outside Ghana. Now that they are in custody, my client will cooperate with the NSS and we hope that they will be charged appropriately after the investigations and prosecuted for the illegalities committed,” she said.