Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid.
Government says it is determined to retrieve “every pesewa” wrongfully taken from the accounts of the National Communications Authority (NCA) by former Board members.
Joy FM broke the news about how the officials, including Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman; one Alhaji Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator, and others allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and have failed to account for it.
They had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities. A local agent, Infraloks Development Limited, was also charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.
But only $1 million was paid into the accounts of the Israeli company while the remaining $3 million was lodged into the accounts of one George Oppong, representing the local agents, Infraloks Development Limited. That money was allegedly shared among the officials.
All the persons involved except Alhaji Osman [whose whereabouts are unknown] and Mr Tevie, have admitted to taking the money and have been granted bail after the BNI took their statements. Some of them have started refunding the money to the state.
Asked why the state is not bringing charges against the culprits, the Information Minister, said the major focus of the BNI is to retrieve all the monies wrongfully taken form the state.
“Their goal is to retrieve as much of whatever was looted from the state as possible,” he told Super Morning Show host, Kojo Yankson in an exclusive interview.
Mustapha Hamid explained, there is always the difficulty in getting the monies paid back into the state coffers when the culprits are prosecuted or even incarcerated.
“Because, if you proceed now and push people to get conviction and so on…would the people then just go and serve jail term and come and enjoy their loot?
“I’m sure thereafter they (BNI) will take the decision whether to proceed with prosecution or not, but they [BNI] have told me their concentration now is on collecting the money,” he said.