The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sanctioned three officers stationed at the Ghana Mission in New York in the US, for misappropriating funds.
Their actions caused a revenue loss of over two thousand dollars to the Consulate.
According to the sector Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the officials were cited for fraudulent behaviour by a four-man disciplinary committee.
Responding to questions on the floor of Parliament, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said the officers had been suspended without salary for between two to six months, and they had been asked to refund the amount in question.
“The three officers were also made to refund the misappropriated funds and they did not receive salaries for the period of their suspension. This decision was also based on the fact that the evidence was circumstantial in nature.”
A repeat of events?
There have been reports of Ghanaian diplomats being involved in similar cases.
A former Accounting Officer at Ghana’s mission in Lusaka, Zambia was recently captured in the Auditor-General’s report as having misappropriated an amount of US$160,640.00 and €29,332.00, the cedi equivalent of GH¢723,425.06, contrary to Regulation 2 of Financial Administration Regulation, 2004 L.I.1802.
He is expected to cough up an amount of GHc1, 191,481.08 which comprises over GHc720,000 belonging to the mission he allegedly misappropriated as well as a surcharge of GHc468,000.
Ghana mission in Angola: Accounting Officer embezzles €64,655.00 and US$87,534.00
The audit report also revealed that Ghana lost an equivalent to GH¢531,616.75 allegedly embezzled by a former Accounting Officer of the country’s mission in Luanda, Angola.
“We noted during the audit of the accounts of Ghana Mission in Luanda, Angola, for the period June 2012 to 31 December 2014 that Mr. King Pratt Ainooson, the Accounting Officer of the Mission, embezzled €64,655.00 and US$87,534.00, equivalent to GH¢531,616.75 contrary to Regulation 2 of Financial Administration Regulation, 2004, L.I. 1802.”
The audit report said Mr. Pratt admitted the offence and signed an undertaking on 9 December 2014 to refund the embezzled amount in monthly instalments of €3,500.00. 13.
“The Auditor General disallowed GH¢531,616.75 being the principal amount embezzled and in addition, he was surcharged GH¢343,956.04 bringing the total amount for a refund to GH¢875,572.79,” the audit report added.
By: Marian Ansah & Duke Mensah Opoku| citinewsroom.com| Ghana