EOCO To Freeze Assets Of ‘Missing’ Investors

Maame Yaa Tiwa Addo-Danquah – EOCO Boss

THE ECONOMIC and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is taking steps to obtain freezing orders from the court to ascertain the ownership status of some 100 landed properties belonging to five microfinance companies and nine savings and loans companies.

The move forms part of wider investigations by EOCO into 17 resolved financial institutions over their untraceable investments amounting to GH¢116.7 million.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), in a statement issued yesterday, said it was collaborating with EOCO to ascertain whether the properties were acquired with resources of the defunct institutions.

According to the central bank, this will enable it to obtain all relevant documents for the said properties, conduct searches at the Lands Commission to aid potential transfer of the assets to the Receiver and to prevent owners from dissipating the assets before the Receiver starts the realisation process.

The BoG indicated that it had identified placements that were made by these Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) and other investment companies, but all attempts to trace the whereabouts of these investment companies have been unsuccessful.

The statement explained that 68 of the 100 landed properties relate to the five microfinance companies, while the remaining 32 relate to the nine savings and loans companies

The BoG said it was in the process of transmitting a formal request to EOCO to trace these non-operational institutions and assist with recovery of the funds.

It pointed out that resolved company, Accent Financial Services, placed GH¢18,447,008.25 with Capital & More Microfinance and another GH¢18,447,008.25 with Nordea Capital, while CDH Savings and Loans placed GH¢14,104,365.35 with Capital Africa Group, and Express Savings placed GH¢11,451,440.42 with Loans Limited and Samba Transfer Services.

The statement said Alltime Finance Limited also placed GH¢10,360,128.09 with Beige Group Limited, First African Savings and Loans placed GH¢8,606,250.00 with Beige Group Limited, Midland Savings and Loans Limited placed GH¢7,574,855.63 with Griffin Financial Services and placed GH¢6,362,831.18 with Konodum Africa Mining Limited.

The BoG continued that Ekumfi Quarries Limited also placed GH¢5,089,399.98 with the Midland Savings and Loans Limited, with Commerz Savings and Loans placing GH¢3,839,239.97 with Equity Capital.

Commerz Savings and Loans again placed GH¢3,054,055.07 with Nordea Foundation; Firstrust Savings and Loans Limited placed GH¢1,943,495.89 with Susu Plus Services; Accent Financial Services placed GH¢1,612,089.66 with Equity Capital Limited; First African Savings and Loans placed GH¢1,305,000.00 with Equity Capital Limited; Dream Finance Limited placed GH¢1,143,406.51 with EL FX; and Midland Savings and Loans Limited placed GH¢543,814.09 with Geojita, while Express Savings and Loans Limited placed GH¢533,132.37 with Senaf Investments.

According to the central bank, the aggregate of all the amounts is GH¢116,667,625.22.

It said the Receiver also reported approximately GH¢1.09 billion of related party transactions to BoG and has requested assistance from EOCO for further investigations to aid recovery, and added that the entities in question include GN, Accent, First Allied, CDH, First Trust, Alpha Capital, Midland and IFS.

Also, the statement said with clearance from BoG, the Joint Receivers (JRs) collaborated with EOCO to investigate suspicious transactions relating to UT Bank and Capital Bank (In Receivership) in 2017.

“The Joint Receivers, in the course of discharging their duties in the receiverships of UT Bank Ghana Limited (UT) and Capital Bank Limited, uncovered transactions that required further investigations.

“Based on relevant sections of Act 930, the JRs under the instructions of BoG, referred these transactions to EOCO to conduct additional investigations into the findings of the JR’s initial work,” the BoG document said.

BY Ernest Kofi Adu