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THEY WANT TO DEFAME OUR KING - Kumasi react to alleged Otumfuo £350,000 UK deposits

General News

Some residents of Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti Region and the seat of the Golden Stool, have angrily reacted to a publication in the Telegraph newspaper of United Kingdom which seems to suggest that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has engaged in a wrongdoing with some deposits into his accounts with the Ghana International Bank.

Some residents of Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti Region and the seat of the Golden Stool, have angrily reacted to a publication in the Telegraph newspaper of United Kingdom which seems to suggest that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has engaged in a wrongdoing with some deposits into his accounts with the Ghana International Bank.

 

According to the publication, the Asantehene summoned one Mark Arthur to his multimillion-pound residence in Henley-on-Thames and handed him a bag containing almost £200,000 as well as $200,000 for deposits, which subsequently triggered a money laundering alert in the City of London and cost Mr Arthur his job.

As a result, the bank official, according to the story, lost his job because the Ghana International Bank believes he “failed to follow anti-money laundering rules and had violated security policies as it was only insured to carry cash by armoured car up to a maximum of £250,000.”

Mr Arthur, in his witness statement, allegedly said Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who holds a diplomatic passport, explained to him that the cash had been withdrawn from banks in Ghana and brought to the UK.

He was suspended and then sacked following the incident, after an investigation by outside accountants Grant Thornton. He is claiming wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal and failure to protect a whistleblower,” the story read in parts.

However, the embattled bank official in his witness statement said he was not able to follow anti-money laundering rules when he accepted the cash because of the king's status.

“Without a policy to follow and did without wishing to offend a sovereign of my country, I found myself in a very difficult situation and one I had never been in before.

I could not carry out the necessary due diligence by talking to His Majesty so decided it would be best to verify the deposits at the bank and to speak directly to Mr Mensah rather than disrespect His Majesty in a face-to-face meeting,” he is quoted to have explained.

But the news from the Telegraph has not gone down well with majority of the residents in the Ashanti region, including media practitioners, social commentators, university students and lawyers who say the publication was only a deliberate move to taint the high reputation of the Asante Kingdom and the King.

Speaking to some irate residents, they noted that the story is a fallacy because financial handlers of our King as well as Otumfuo himself is clearly up-to-date with the financial systems and its defaulting implications, especially at the international level.

Kwaku Adu, a resident of Asafo, who spoke to the Daily Statesman, debunked the allegations, describing it as palpable lies to defame the great king.

According to him, there is nothing wrong with the Ashanti royal asking a Ghanaian to deposit a money into his account.

Rebecca Dufie, a pharmacist at Adum, rubbished the publication, describing it as “lies with no iota of truth in it.”

She asked why the paper presented a slant story to defame the Ashanti Kingdom.

Furious Yaw Manu explained in an interview that much as there was an agreement between the King and the Ghanaian, the Telegraph newspaper should have listened to the side of Asantehene before publishing the story.

According to him, the failure of the UK newspaper to contact the Ashanti King makes the story incredible.

To Samuel Yeboah, a law student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, it is highly impossible for a reputed international bank like the Ghana International Bank to get involved in such thing and as such, the story should be treated with the contempt it deserves.