A Receiver of the failed banks, Vish Ashiagbor, has testified before an Accra High Court (Commercial Division) that a sum of GH¢70 million credited to the personal account of Kate Quartey-Papafio by Capital Bank, was conducted in a proper banking arrangement.
The receiver, who also doubles as one of the Directors of Price Waterhouse Coopers, said this while responding to a question posed by Kobina Tahir Hammond, Lawyer for Madam Quartey-Papafio, fourth accused person (A4) in the trial of William Ato Forson and two others.
Responding to the question “…these three set of companies ensure that their certificates were discounted and part of the proceeds were eventually put in the account of the 4th Accused Person. Wouldn’t you describe that as a proper commercial banking arrangement?”, Vish Ashiagbor answered in the positive that it is a proper banking arrangement.
Mr Ashiagbor, who is also in court as first Prosecution Witness (PW1) yesterday, testified before the court, presided over by Court of Appeal judge siting as additional judge of the High Court, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, that certain transactions conducted by the defunct Capital Bank cannot be referred to as stolen money.
This was when the lawyer wanted to find out whether Mr Ashiagbor had said some monies identified in his report, in respect of Capital Bank, could be classified as stolen monies.
When the question was posed to the Receiver, asking: “Did I hear you say that those monies were not dealt with in any criminal way?” his answer was “No, My Lord. I think what I said in response to Counsel for 1st Accused Person (William Ato Essien) was that, we had not indicated in our report that those funds were stolen.”
The witness also stressed on the concern raised by the lawyer, whether those monies were laundered in any criminal manner and whether it was indicated on page 23 of their report that those funds were re-engineered.
He also added that they made it clear in their report that the funds advanced to some companies constituted double payments and that was vividly captured in the banner of the report, adding “and then also on page 27 in the text of the report, we made reference to the fact that the intent was a financial re-engineering strategy and finally, it did not belong to her.”
The Receiver also said that he found nothing wrong with the discount invoices of Maripoma Enterprise, Volta Impex Limited and Hardwick Limited and that they were proper and normal business practice.
Mr Hammond further asked that in a proper banking transaction, if money is in one’s account and seeks to withdraw it, does it constitute any offence?
This, he answered that, under normal circumstance, No, except that in this case “we have indicated in our report that money was transferred back to Capital bank in a different form as a proposed investment for the purchase of shares in Capital bank.”
But the lawyer rebutted that if money is properly obtained by A4 and that amount is sitting in her account, she has every right to utilise it in the manner that deems fit to her.
However, the receiver explained that there is no problem with how one utilises his or her money but in this instance, the money was from Capital Bank.
Mr Hammond then asked: “whose money would it be at this stage, when the GH¢70 million was sitting in the account of the 4th Accused person?”
The Receiver, in answering, reiterated that the GH¢70 million was transferred by A4 to Capital bank and that the funds belonged to Capital bank.
The lawyer also argued that by virtue that it was put into his client’s account, that money is legitimately hers and she is entitled to withdraw it at anytime.
Mr Hammond stated that Madam Quartey-Papafio did not in any improper way exert any force on the companies involved, to transfer these monies into her account.
The lawyer indicated that all those transactions were approved by the governing board of Capital bank.
Nevertheless, Mr Ashiagbor said he disagreed.
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