- Asantehene's diplomatic passport "had in fact expired" in August 2016 at the time of the incident
- The overlord of the Ashanti kingdom is alleged to be involved in money laundering
The Ghana International Bank has revealed that the diplomatic passport possessed by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has long expired.
This comes after the Bank's dismissed manager, Mark Frank Arthur, prayed a court to rule against his dismissal following his role in the transfer of a whopping £350,000 into the personal account of the Otumfuo.
The overlord of the Ashanti kingdom has been in the spotlight in recent times after it emerged that he had been involved in a money laundering scandal in the U.K.
The Ghana International Bank subsequently relived Mr Arthur of his duties, after realizing he helped with the transfer of the colossal amount.
The bank contends that their former manager did not follow due process when taking the decision, and believe his quest for reinstatement cannot be taken serious.
In a statement on Wednesday, the bank said Mr Arthur did not follow due process in making the transaction and should have realised that the diplomatic passport held by the Asantehene has long "expired".
Sections of the statement reads: “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 have to follow the Respondent’s [Bank] processes which he failed to do."
The Manhyia Palace has however refuted claims that the Asantehene engaged in any misdealing in requesting for such a big amount to be transferred to his personal account.
Meanwhile the Ghana international Bank had explained that it had to dismiss Mr Arthur because his role in the controversial transfer constituted "gross misconduct, gross negligence and breach of confidence" adding "the decision to dismiss was upheld by an independent third party who found the claimant had made a ‘catastrophic error of judgement'".
In his defense, Mr Arthur said he only acted as a subject of the Asantehene, insisting there was no way he could question him on that source of the money, despite its colossal nature.
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.