Two persons who were allegedly involved in the illegal shipment of 1.5 tonnes of gold valued at $52 million to Turkey were Tuesday put before the Accra Circuit Court.
Peter Kofi Bedzra, a miner, who was first arraigned before the court on February 26, 2013, was granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000, with three sureties.
He is also expected to report himself to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) on Fridays.
The second accused person, Frank Mould, alias Ebo, a forwarding agent, was first put before the court yesterday and remanded to reappear on April 8, 2013.
The court was presided over by Mrs Justice Patience Mills-Tetteh, a High Court judge with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court judge.
Bedzra has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery of document, contrary to Section 158 of the Criminal Code 1960, Act 29, while Mould has pleaded not guilty to two counts of abetment of crime and uttering forged documents, contrary to Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Bedzra is alleged to have forged certain documents, including a Geological Survey Department certificate for mineral samples, numbered OC5/6/12/13; a Bank of Ghana foreign exchange form 4A with serial number 14317261 and a goods movement certificate No. A296968, by using the said documents to enable him to export 1,500 kilogrammes of gold to Dubai.
Mould, for his part, is alleged to have aided and abetted Bedzra to forge the documents, as well as uttering forged documents, to aid Bedzra to evade the requirement under the law by exporting the 1.5 tonnes of gold.
The facts of the case, as narrated by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr A. A. Annor, are that Mould, who is a forwarding agent, operates at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
In December 2012, one 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 them.
According to the prosecution, the buyers packed the gold into 30 boxes prepared for export to Dubai.
It informed the court that Mould was contracted to process the consignment for export and in the process aided Bedzra to forge documents of the Geological Survey Department, a Bank of Ghana foreign exchange form and a 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.
Investigations are ongoing.