A businessman, Joseph Kwame Donkor, was Friday put before the Accra Circuit Court for allegedly playing a role in the illegal shipment of 1.5 tonnes of gold worth $52 million to Turkey.
He pleaded not guilty to two counts of abetment and was granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000, with two sureties, one to be justified.
He was also ordered to report himself to the BNI on Fridays.
Counsel for Donkor, Mr T. Azu, prayed the court, presided over by Mrs Justice Patience Mills Tetteh, to grant his client bail because he was a known personality who had businesses and was also the Chairman of the Gomoa West Constituency of the NPP, for which reason he would co-operate with the court when granted bail.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr A. A. Annor.
Two other persons who are allegedly involved in the illegal shipment of the gold are Peter Kofi Bedzra, a miner, and Frank Mould, alias Ebo, a forwarding agent.
Bedzra was the first to be put before the court on February 26, 2013 and granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000, with three sureties.
He is also expected to report himself to the BNI on Fridays.
On March 19, the second accused person, Mould, was first put before the court but was remanded to reappear on April 8, 2013.
According to the prosecution, Donkor abetted Bedzra to ship the gold to Turkey without undergoing the stipulated legal requirement before the shipment.
The prosecution said on December 29, 2012, a chartered cargo plane arrived at the Kotoka International Airport to carry the consignment to Dubai.
On arrival at the airport, Donkor booked room reservations for the seven-member crew of the cargo plane at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra by using Joedith Ventures Limited, while the crew was handled by Menzies-Aviance Handling Services Company Limited.
On December 31, 2012, Donkor, another person whose name was only given as Believer and others saw to it that Mould processed the consignment for export.
It said while the processing was going on, Donkor kept communicating with Believer and a representative of Menzies on phone until the cargo aircraft left the KIA with the 30 boxes of gold around 10:30 p.m.
The prosecution said the cargo aircraft carrying the gold was, however, intercepted and detained in Turkey because documents accompanying the gold appeared not to be genuine.
On February 26, 2013, Bedzra pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery of document, contrary to Section 158 of the Criminal Code 1960, Act 29, while Mould pleaded not guilty to two counts of abetment of crime and uttering forged documents, contrary to Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
According to the prosecution, Bedzra, on December 31, 2012, forged certain documents, including Geological Survey Department certificate for mineral samples numbered OC5/6/12/13; Bank of Ghana Foreign Exchange form 4A with serial number 14317261, and Goods Movement certificate No. A296968.
He allegedly used the said documents to enable him to export 1,500 kilogrammes of gold to Dubai.
Mould, for his part, on December 31, 2013 aided and abetted Bedzra to forge the documents, as well as uttered forged documents to aid Bedzra evade the requirement under the law by exporting the 1,500 kilogrammes of gold.
The facts of the case are that Mould, who is a forwarding agent, operates at the KIA and in December 2012 Valid Moradi Moghaddam and his partners, all Arabs, arrived in Ghana to purchase gold.
They got in touch with Omanye Gold Mining Limited which sold a quantity of gold weighing 1.5 tonnes and valued at $52 million to the Arabs.
According to the prosecution, the buyers packed the gold into 30 boxes for export to Dubai.
It informed the court that Mould was contracted to process the consignment for export, and in the process he aided Bedzra to forge documents of the Geological Survey Department, the Bank of Ghana and goods movement certificate in order to ship the said 30 boxes through customs and other security checks at the KIA and subsequently exported the said consignment to Dubai on December 31, 2012.