Myjoyonline.com has chanced upon the proceedings of Wednesday's hearing at the UK tribunal determining a case of possible violations of anti-money laundering regulation.
The case has attracted the interest of Ghanaians following revelations the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, allegedly laundered £200,000 and $200,000 in cash through the Ghana International Bank.
An official of the Bank, Mark Arthur, has lost his job for failing to follow anti-money laundering rules as well as security policies for agreeing to carry a total of £350,000 in cash in a taxi to the Bank on behalf of the Asantehene.
The matter came to light during an ongoing tribunal hearing to ascertain the legality of Mr. Arthur's dismissal.
Wednesday’s proceedings is published below. The hearing continues Thursday, October 12, 2017.
Mr M F Arthur v Ghana International Bank, Central Employment Tribunal London
1. All evidence, in this case, has now been given to the Employment Tribunal which will soon retire to consider its decision.
2. Mr Arthur’s position throughout his suspension, investigation, disciplinary process and the Employment Tribunal hearing is that he had done nothing wrong.
3. Mr Arthur has consistently confirmed in evidence that at no time did he suspect that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, did anything wrong.
4. Mr Arthur’s evidence through the investigation, disciplinary and at the tribunal hearing makes it clear that the CEO of the bank, Mr Joe Mensah, approved the transactions before completion in accordance with the King’s instructions and did not think that there was suspicious activity.
5. The banks’ position is that Mr Mensah did not approve the transactions. The morning after the transaction and following an internal conversation with other members of his senior staff, Mr Mensah changed his position and reported the transactions to the UK authorities as being suspicious.
6. There is a conflict between the evidence that Mr Arthur and Mr Mensah have given regarding whether or not Mr Mensah approved the transactions and Mr Arthur has asked the Employment Tribunal to decide which of the two is telling the truth.
7. It should be noted that Mr Mensah decided not to give any evidence at the Employment Tribunal hearing, even though he was and should have been the bank’s number one witness as he was central to the events that have unfolded.
8. The person that Mr Mensah retained to conduct the disciplinary hearing of Mr Arthur, Mr Peter Haines (former chairman of the Bank’s Board Audit Risk & Compliance Committee) also decided not to make himself available in person to the tribunal to give evidence and to be cross-examined.
9. Mr Haines’ directorship was not however renewed shortly after his decision to dismiss Mr Arthur.
10. Mr Arthur has confirmed to the Employment Tribunal that the collection and transportation of cash from the Asantehene’s residence (transported by Uber taxi) was not in breach of the bank’s insurance policies. The bank however relies on an insurance proposal and not the actual insurance policy itself (the latter of which Mr Arthur asserts supports his position).
11. Mr Arthur believes that the Employment Tribunal decision when delivered will demonstrate that the transactions involving the Asantehene’s account were above the suspicions cited by the bank. It is important to note however that the Employment Tribunal has not been asked to determine the nature of those transactions, those transactions merely create the background relating to the employment issues that the Employment Tribunal has to decide.
12. Mr Arthur maintains that he has not done anything wrong and that the procedures that he followed when dealing with the Asantehene’s account were the procedures that the bank (including other senior staff) followed over a number of years. And Mr Arthur therefore believes, among other things, that he has been treated inconsistently and unfairly in this matter.