The Ghana International Bank (GIB) has disclosed that the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s diplomatic passport had expired when he gave £350,000 to an official of the bank.
This was in response to claims that an official of GIB Mark Frank Arthur was unfairly dismissed for transferring £350,000 into the personal account of the traditional leader.
Arthur who is challenging his dismissal in court said he did the transaction because he is a ‘subject’ of the Asantehene who also carried a diplomatic passport.
However, the bank in a statement said “The claimant [Mr Arthur] did not check the diplomatic passport was valid and in fact, it was expired. Even, if it had not expired, the claimant would have still had to follow the Respondent’s [Bank] processes which he failed to do.”
According to the bank, it terminated Mr Arthur’s employment “for gross misconduct, gross negligence and breach of confidence. The decision to dismiss was upheld by an independent third party who found the claimant had made a ‘catastrophic error of judgement.”
Ashantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has been fingered in a potential money laundering case in the United Kingdom in which he is said to have deposited £350,000 at Ghana International Bank.
The Asantehene is said to have handed the money to Mark Arthur, an executive director of the bank, at his multimillion-pound residence in Henley-on-Thames, for deposit.
According to the British-based Telegraph, the subsequent deposit of the cash at Ghana International Bank triggered a money laundering alert in the City of London and cost Mr Arthur his job.
The bank said he had failed to follow anti-money laundering rules and had violated security policies as it was only insured to carry cash by armoured car up to a maximum of £250,000, according to the report by the Telegraph.
Mr Arthur, who is under investigation over the development, said in his testimony that Otumfuo told him the money was withdrawn from banks in Ghana and brought to the UK.
Meanwhile, Manhyia palace is yet to respond officially to the issues.
Below is a copy of the statement from the bank
Mark Frank Arthur (The Claimant), v Ghana International Bank Public Limited Company (The Respondent)
Statement from The Respondent in the event of media enquiries Wednesday 11 October 2017
The Respondent rejects the allegations made by the Claimant and will vigorously defend its position.
The Claimant’s employment was terminated for gross misconduct, gross negligence and breach of trust and confidence. The decision to dismiss was upheld by an independent third party who found the Claimant had made a ‘catastrophic error of judgement’. The Claimant has misrepresented matters to the Respondent and now seeks to make incorrect and unfounded allegations to the Tribunal.
Our response to the allegations is as follows:
1. Non-disclosure of Grant Thornton notes. The Respondent has never been given them. An application by the Claimant’s solicitors to obtain the notes was denied by an employment Tribunal Judge on 31 Aug. who suggested they reapply on 9 Oct, if they considered them material or important. The Claimant has not re-applied.
2. Accepting the Cash Deposits and carrying out the due diligence afterwards. The Respondent rejects the notion that there is precedent for accepting large sums of cash and carrying out due diligence afterwards. There is no comparable event involving large amounts of cash which would justify the Claimant’s actions.
3. The insurance policy covered the transportation of the cash. The Respondent’s policy did not cover the transportation of the cash by the Claimant.
4. Denial that there was a breach of the bank’s policies. The Respondent maintains that there was a clear breach. The Claimant should not have taken receipt of the £199,960 and $200.0000 without having first undertaken appropriate due diligence on the source of the funds, which he failed to do.
5. Approval from the Respondent for the transfer. The Respondent had a clear process for approval which involved Compliance checks. The Claimant chose to ignore the Respondent’s processes.
6. Exemption of currency movement regulations due to a diplomatic passport. The Claimant did not check that the diplomatic passport was valid and it had in fact expired. Even if it had not expired, the Claimant would still have had to follow the Respondent’s processes, which he failed to do.