State prosecutors have dragged the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of K. Ofori Enterprise and three others to court for what the prosecution has told the court was an alleged evasion of tax to the tune of GH¢1.6 billion.
The prosecutors say the money is from 2013 to date.
The CEO, Mr Frank Kwadwo Ofori, together with Hani Mikati, Marwam Hamwi and Sallam Mohammed Gharib, all officials of the United Steel Company (USC) have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit crime namely fraudulent evasion of tax and fraudulent evasion of tax.
They appeared before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Ms Afua Owusua Appiah on Friday, May 7, 2021, reports Graphic Online’s Justice Agbenorsi.
After pleading not guilty to the charges, the court granted them bail in the sum of GH¢1 million each with three sureties to be justified.
As part of the bail conditions, the accused persons are to deposit their passports at the court’s registry.
They have also been directed to report to the police every two weeks.
They are to reappear before the court on June 8, 2021.
The facts of the case as presented by the prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, were that, during the year 2021, security agencies picked information regarding what they said were unlawful activities of the accused persons including fraudulent evasion of tax and money laundering.
The prosecution said further intelligence revealed that the members and or officers of United Steel Company (USC) developed a scheme apparently to evade taxes and reportedly disguised the proceeds in Ghana and abroad.
It said pursuant to the preceding scheme and to facilitate the said unlawful activities, Ofori incorporated a company by name Kwadwo Boakye Enterprise (KBE) and same was made a nominee of and agent for USC.
Consequently, the prosecution said surveillance was mounted on the activities of the accused persons and on April 29, 2021, they were picked up.
During a search at the offices of USC and residence of Mikati, about 15 signed cheque books without face value from five separate banks in the name of KBE were found.
Preliminary investigation, the prosecution said, had established that the accused persons through their reported unlawful activities had fraudulently evaded taxes to the tune of GH¢1.6 billion between the period of 2013 to April 2021 and they had concealed and disguised the proceeds into investments in Ghana and abroad.