The Ghana International Bank has responded to media enquiries in respect of the sacking of a bank worker for lodging money in the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II UK bank account and said the Asantehene’s diplomatic passport “had in fact expired” in August 2016 at the time of the incident.
The former employee of the Ghana International Bank in the United Kingdom, Mr Mark Arthur, has sued the bank arguing he was wrongfully dismissed and the case is being heard in the UK by an employment tribunal.
Mr Arthur was dismissed for allegedly failing to follow anti-money laundering rules and violating security policies, when he collected almost £200,000, as well as $200,000 in US currency in cash from the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to deposit at the bank.
He is said to have transferred the money to the bank in an Uber taxi.
Mr Arthur, who was an executive director of the bank, was also said to have transferred $200,000 on the instructions of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to an account at Standard Bank in Jersey, a day after depositing the money into the Asantehene’s account.
However, the subsequent deposit of the cash at the Ghana International Bank triggered a money laundering alert in the City of London and cost Mr Arthur his job.
Following the publication of proceedings at the tribunal’s hearing by The Telegraph in the UK, there has been an increased media enquiries on the case and the bank has issued a statement to that effect.
The bank’s statement published by Myjoyonline.com [see copy below] explained that there was an exemption of currency movement regulations due to diplomatic passport holders.
However, it said Mr Arthur did not check that the diplomatic passport of the Asantehene was valid at the time of the incident in August 2016.
It stated further that the Asantehene’s diplomatic passport, “had in fact expired. Even if it had not expired, the Claimant [Arthur] would still have had to follow the Respondent’s [bank] processes, which he failed to do.