Defunct UT Bank boss faces 42 fresh charges

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The state has re-arraigned the former Chief Executive Officer of defunct UT Bank, Dr Prince Kofi Amoabeng, before court after discharging him on the initial charges. He has now been slapped with 42 charges and expected to appear before court on Wednesday, February 12. Among the charges levelled against Mr Amoabeng are fraudulent breach of trust, deceit of a public officer and fabrication of evidence. This came to the fore at an Accra Circuit Court on Wednesday when his case was called. State prosecutor ASP Emmanuel Nyamekye had told the Court Dr Amoabeng’s original charges of stealing and money laundering were going to be revised. Trial judge Emmanuel Essandoh, consequently, discharged him. But the embattled business mogul was later to be arraigned before an Accra High Court on the 42 charges. Joined to the writ are five others including former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr Johnson Pandit Asiama. According to the writ, UT Bank granted a credit facility of $15 million to Lushann International Energy Ghana Ltd (Lushann) by an agreement dated November 1, 2013 for the purchase of crude oil to be supplied to Petraco Oil Company (Petraco) by Lushann. As security for the facility, Lushann assigned the stock to UT. In furtherance of the supply of the crude oil to Petraco, Lushann chartered a vessel called Olympic Faith owned by Melville Enterprises SA (Melville), a Liberian company which was contracted by Lushann to receive the crude oil for onward delivery to Petraco. On January 14, 2014, Melville issued a Writ of Summons out of the Registry of the High Court, Accra, against Lushann claiming the sum of $6,775,269.90 as unpaid fees for the charter of Olympic Faith. UT applied to join the suit as an interested party to contest Melville’s claim to the cargo under a Stock Assignment Agreement. By an order dated January 27, 2014, the High Court directed that the cargo be sold and $7million out of the proceeds deposited in an escrow account with UT in the name of the Registrar of the High Court at an interest rate of 2% per annum pending the final determination of the matter. The state said a letter dated February 21, 2014, addressed to the Registrar of the High Court and under the hands of the 4th accused person and Gwendy Miranda Bannerman, the Head of the Legal Department of UT, confirmed the opening of the account and the payment of the sum of $7 million into the account as ordered by the Court. Subsequently, UT submitted to the Registrar a statement of account and purported details of a call investment signed by the 5th and 6th accused persons and one Stephen Azumah which turned out to be false. Investigations revealed that even though the 4th, 5th and 6th accused persons knew there was no money in the account they deliberately persisted in submitting false statements to the Registrar. On August 14, 2017, the central bank revoked the operating licence of UT for violating banking laws and subsequently went into receivership. Investigations conducted in the course of the receivership of UT revealed that investments totalling GHC51,334,387.08 and $8,799,917 placed with UT by some 15 companies, had been transferred to UT Holdings, by UT without the knowledge and or consent of the companies. It was established that UT Holdings did not have a licence to take deposits and investments. By a letter dated April 28, 2016, UT requested additional liquidity support in the sum of ¢650 million from BoG. But only $460 million was released and even that on an unsecure basis. So far, $413.09 million is yet to return to the Central Bank. Source: 3news.com|Ghana]]>

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