It has emerged that the diplomatic passport of the Asantehene Otumfuor Osei Tutu II had expired at the time of the controversial 350-thousand-pound transaction.
A statement from the Ghana International Bank, which sacked its second most senior staff for depositing and transferring the money to another bank, said claims by the staff, Mark Arthur, that he could not carry out the necessary anti-money laundering checks due the status of the Asantehene and the diplomatic passport on which he traveled, are unfounded, because in the first place, the passport had expired.
“The claimant [Mr Arthur] did not check that the diplomatic passport was valid and it had in fact expired…even if it had not expired, the claimant would still have had to follow the respondents [Ghana International Bank] processes which he failed to do” the statement said.
Otumfuor Osei Tutu in 2016 gave Mark Arthur a bag containing almost £200,000 in sterling as well as $200,000 in US currency with consecutive serial numbers, to be deposited into his account with the Ghana International Bank and then move $200,000 to an account at Standard bank in Jersey.
The deposit of the cash however triggered a money laundering alert in the City of London. Investigations by the bank led to the suspension of Mr Arthur and his subsequent dismissal from the bank.
The bank said he had failed to follow anti-money laundering rules and had violated security policies as it was only insured to carry cash by armored car up to a maximum of £250,000.
Mr Arthur, who has now dragged the bank to court is claiming wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal and failure to protect a whistleblower.
He maintains among others the deposit and transfer were approved by Ghana International Bank’s chief executive, Joseph Mensah.
The statement from the bank dismisses these accessions.