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US$18 Million Smuggled Gold Busted In Kotoka

…How Ghanaians Aid Indians To Wreck Country

Some dedicated and patriotic customs officials stationed at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) last Wednesday, busted a syndicate attempting to smuggle 12 boxes of gold weighing 480 kilograms and priced at US$18 million out of the country.

The security officers, upon a tipoff impounded the 12 bullion boxes at the cargo section of the airport on its way out of Ghana, without the necessary documentation.

The Indian exporters, through the connivance of some unscrupulous Ghanaians, were flying the US$18 million gold onboard Emirates Airlines without any form of inspection and taxes payable.

The two Indian companies involved in the attempted smuggling were; BGC International and K. K. Enterprises. The names of their Ghanaian collaborating companies were given as A.A. Minerals, Italtec Ghana Limited, and Guldrest Resources. The names of the company owners, office locations and contact address particularly those of the criminally-minded Ghanaians, were not provided.

AA. Minerals, a private Licensed Gold Exporter, whose license is said to expire in June last year, allegedly connived with the Indian gold buyers, to dupe the state.

The arrest comes on the back of the decision by the government not to renew the licenses of the private gold exporters. The government’s decision was triggered by the various industrial malpractices by the private gold dealers.

Available information from the Indian government (Zauba Technologies & Data Services) showed that between January 2014 and January 2016, a total of 101,179 kg of gold valued at US$3,607,415,756.36, was shipped out of Ghana to India alone, without going through the necessary processes.

Insiders told The Herald that, the smuggling of gold by the LGEs is a daily occurrence at the KIA. It was said that the companies do this to avoid paying the appropriate taxes to the state and also to avoid the repatriation of the gold proceeds back into the country. This is goes to put undue pressure on the Cedi.

It was for this reason that, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) last year, came out with the directive to streamline the gold export procedures, for which the LGEs went to court and have been able to secure an injunction against the directive.

The BoG, said it was forced to introduce new rules for gold exports due to the consistent under declaration and smuggling of gold from Ghana. However, the LGE, sued the Central Bank for introducing new measures to streamline the processes for documentation for gold exports.

Also sued were, PMMC and Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authourity (GRA).

Per the new measures by the Central Bank, all exports of gold must be done only through the PMMC. However, the gold exporters challenged the appointment of the PMMC as the certifier for gold exports.

PMMC is a limited liability company operating under the Companies’ Code, with the Government of Ghana as the sole shareholder. Per the new rules, Licensed Gold Exporters (LGEs) will also not be permitted to export gold for third parties.

According to the BoG, authentication would also be required of all LGEs, thus the exporters must download Form FEX A4 from the BoG website (www.bog.gov.gh) for completion and submission in connection with gold exports.
The BoG, earlier warned that gold exporters, who failed to comply with the new measures on or after the effective date would not be able to export gold out of Ghana.

It has also been identified that one of the factors contributing to the continues fall of the cedi against some major foreign currencies is as a result of the invasion of some foreigners in the small-scale gold industry, where they buy and export gold without repatriating the money back into the country.

These foreign gold traders, who have illegally entered the mining communities are purchasing gold directly from the small-scale miners and exporting the gold themselves and as a result, denying the country of several millions of dollars annually.

Though the law calls for 80 percent repatriation of money realized from gold exports, these foreigners, most of whom have shops in Ghana, rather keep the foreign currency in their offshore accounts and then use the Cedis realized from their shops to buy more gold for export thus in putting pressure on the few dollars in the system.

The argument is that the small-scale miners prefer doing business with the foreigners because the foreigners offer better prices, even though most of them are not licensed to buy or export gold. The country could be making millions of dollars if all gold produced by small-scale miners go through PMMC for export.

Insiders told The Herald that, these foreigners come to Ghana unregistered, and get some Ghanaians to aid their illegal business. They equally do not pay any tax to the government, as nobody monitors them.

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Featured

Sammy Awuku calls for civil revolt against John Mahama

The National Youth Organizer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Samuel Awuku is calling for a ‘civil revolt’ against the Mahama-led administration.

According to him, this is the time when sacrifice must be borne in the supreme interest of Ghana.

“Let’s put our destiny into our own hands and demonstrate against government because that is the only language the government understands,” Awuku told Accra-based Oman FM.

He said the administration of John Mahama for the past two years has subjected Ghana to abuse with his incompetence.

“Mahama is raping Ghana with his incompetence. The NDC only came to create, loot, share and kill us,” he added. The NPP youth leader said he is not surprised with NDC’s performance because ‘they came to power based on false promises.’

He described as worrying the treatment meted out to Ghanaians by “this incompetence”. “Ghanaians have been tolerant for too long and it is time to take our destiny into our own hands. There has to be democracy on the streets,” he exclaimed.

Sammy Awuku also advised members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to stop the internal bickering and unite for power. He noted that: “we should not delude ourselves into thinking that 2016 will be a cool chop if we are divided. “We have an election to win in 2016 so let’s stop massaging egos in 2014” Awuku stated.

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Showbiz

I’ve slept with over 200 ladies – Morris Babyface

Listeners who tuned into Hello Entertainment Review on Hello 101.5 FM, a subsidiary of Despite Group of Companies last Saturday heard one startling revelation by gospel musician Morris D’Voice.

Morris D’Voice, formerly known as Morris Babyface who was once a secular musician and was arrested by the Holy Spirit revealed how he lived his life when he was sinner.

In his confession, Marx Morris Twumasi said he has slept with over 200 ladies but cannot recall the exact number yet he is certain that they exceed 200.

Among these ladies he has gone to bed with include many gospel musicians but he hurriedly debunked the rumor that he was in a hot romance with popular gospel musician Esther Smith.

“I never did anything with Esther Smith or dated her as people were saying. She was older than me and I respected her very well. We lived in the same area (Estate) too so we often saw ourselves most of the times”

“I think people started speculating that I had something doing with Esther because everybody knew me to be a bad boy so seeing me with her often, they thought she was one of my numerous girls but let me say it here that Esther and I did nothing apart from being friends and music” he added.

Morris who is now a stout Christian in his revelation divulged how he turned his back to the world and added that it came to a time he nearly lost his life.

“A friend took me to his pastor and he (pastor) said God brought me there but not by my will and he told me God will use me to save many lives. I prayed to God to let me see a sign of wonders to prove that he really sent me to the pastor and what he said was true. In my dream on that very day, I saw Jesus. My friend who took me to the pastor also came to say same dream I had. It wasn’t easy leaving my old life because at times after fasting from six to six, a lady will call you and say Morris I’ve missed you should I come and what else can i say than yes.”

“ I woke up one day and when I turned, I saw my body lying down. I looked at it for some time and fortunately for me, I didn’t walk off my bed else I would have been dead by now. I laid back into the body which was lying dormant and later realized I’m back to life” he added.

He also revealed that there are many false prophets in this country and pleaded with Christians to be wary of them because it’s difficult to see one.

“As a musician and instrumentalist, I’ve been to many places that even some pastors have not been before. I’ve met with many pastors and I’ve seen that many are not real. The few that are sent by God can’t be noticed by God’s people”

Confessing on the show hosted by Dave Hammer, a miracle happened. The microphone through which he was talking through had distortions which were unusual. It became normal when they went off air but irrational when he starts to talk about how his life was changed. All other microphones apart from his worked normal but whenever he moved to any, the problem resumed.

Dave Hammer speaking to Zionfelix.com said “the evil ones didn’t want him to share his testimony that was why they were disrupting us but we had to let him talk through the noise and we pleaded with listeners to forgive us for the sound quality. Do you know that everything worked normal when he was not talking? It starts when he begins to talk. That is what the devil will do when you want to disgrace him.”

The music producer cum musician is preparing to release his debut gospel album. He has worked with artistes like Esther Smith, Okyeame Kwame and others.

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Featured Society

Man Arrested For Selling Lover

Samuel Dadson, a 22-year-old man who attempted to sell his 21-year-old girlfriend for rituals has been arrested by the Accra Regional Police Command.

Suspect Dadson, currently in police custody, was arrested red-handed presenting the victim who he had lured from Kumasi to Accra to the supposed ritualist, when police accosted him.

DCOP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, the Accra regional police commander together with his Deputy, ACP Yoosa Bonga, told the media yesterday that suspect Dadson, who had dated the victim for only one month, lived together with her in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

While on a visit to Accra in June last year, suspect Dadson met a taxi driver to whom he expressed desire to get somebody who could assist him get rich through ‘juju’ (ritual).

The driver then told Dadson that he had heard rumours of a Mallam at Weija who could help him.

They both exchanged telephone numbers and parted ways.

On June 2, 2013, suspect Dadson called the taxi driver (name withheld) on the telephone from Kumasi to enquire if he could get somebody who would want human head to buy.

The driver who became frightened informed his pastor about the development.

The pastor advised the driver to report the matter to the police immediately.

The police, in collaboration with the taxi driver, called the suspect on the telephone to give him a number they claimed was for the Mallam who needed human head for rituals.

Suspect Dadson later called the number and told the supposed Mallam that he could provide two heads but at a cost of GH¢8,000 per one.

The supposed Mallam agreed and went on to enquire how Dadson could get the heads.

The suspect then told the Mallam that he was ready to kill the victim and present the head to him later in Accra for his money.

To protect the victim from been killed, the Mallam asked the suspect to bring the victim in person to Accra to be killed at a later date, which he obliged.

Dadson then demanded an amount of GH¢100 for transportation since he was cash-strapped.

Police then sent the amount to the suspect through MTN Mobile Money on July 3, 2013 around 2:00pm.

Dadson, after collecting the money, lured the victim (name withheld), whom he had dated for only one month to Accra on a business trip.

When the two arrived at the VIP station that evening around 8:00pm, Dadson immediately called Mallam on the telephone to meet them at the station but he did not know he was being monitored by the police.

As soon as suspect Dadson handed over the victim to the Mallam, the police accosted him together with the victim to the regional headquarters for questioning.

Upon interrogation, suspect Samuel Dadson confessed to the act. He would be sent to court soon.

Meanwhile, parents of the victim have been called to Accra by the police to pick up their daughter back to Kumasi.

By Linda Tenyah

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Featured

Mayor of Ivory Coast Honors Majid Michel, Attractive Mustapha and others

Danho Paulin, the Mayor of Ivory Coast gives Majid Michel, the versatile Ghanaian actor, an award for his hard work in the movie industry of Africa.

Michel picks up this award during Le Grand Prix Africain Du Cinema De La Television Et des Tic (GPACT) – the African Golden Crown Awards – that took place last Sunday in Abijan, Ivory Coast.

Danho Paulin honors the Ghanaian actor for the effort he is making in the African entertainment industry by giving him a special award.

After receiving the award, Michel (in his speech) requests the African film producers to pray for Danho Paulin for investing in the African movie industry in general and movie industry of Ivory Coast in particular by supporting the GPACT awards.

He emphasizes on the need to pray for the Mayor so that he will do better in investing in the movie industry. According to him, many people may not appreciate the good work of Danho today but with time, people will understand
thatmajid-300×221 the mayor has made a good decision to invest in the movie industry. He refers to America that, according to him, has got to where it is today thanks to its movie industry.

Majid who came to the event with his wife and celebrity journalist who was also honoured by the organizers is highly revered in Ivory Coast. According to Coulibaly Adama, the director of the awards, and Yaya Fofana, his assistant, Majid will be surprised to see how honored and celebrated he is in Ivory Coast even though it is a French speaking country. This, according to them, is a clear indication of how prevailing film making can be.

There are other actors from other African countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone, and others that receive special awards also for their contribution in the African movie industry.

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Guest Post Showbiz

Ghanaian dancer Mercy Apafo joins the movie industry

Ghanaian choreographer and dancer Mercy Apafo has been spotted on set shooting a movie with Ghanaian renowned film production company Gupado Films .

The dancer turned actress told Ghanacreativearts.com that in an interview that acting is a passion she has nursed for a very long time and this moment is a dream come through for her.

According to her, she has plans of establishing her own production house which she intends naming ‘Divine Mercy Productions’ so given this great opportunity by Gupado Films will help her enormously to achieve her dreams.

Asked whether she will stop dancing for Movie entirely, Mercy Apafo said she cannot abandon her first love for any other thing but she will be doing both concurrently.

“I recently lead a dancing delegation at Cape-Coast fancy festival and I have other contracts with Attractive Cultural Troop in a few months“, she said.

She urged her fans to watch out for the new movie she is working on with Gupado titled ‘Akurase Borga’.

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General News

I’m now born again – Isaac Edumadze

NPP strongman and a former Central Regional Minister, Isaac Edumadze is now a born again Christian.

He said he is going to dedicate his life to serve God after he was healed from a disease that had afflicted him for the past 13 years.

He said it took just ordinary sugar from Prophet Francis Kwarteng of House of Power Ministries for him to receive his healing from diabetes.

In church, the man some people refer to as ‘Rambo’, was full of praise and gratitude for what he described as the miracle that God had brought into his life.

He told Joy News’ Seth Kwame Boateng that he was not shy to say publicly what God had done for him.

Mr Edumadze said the reason why many people don’t get the blessing of God is their pride.

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Society

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Featured General News

Why Are People From Volta Region Called Number 9

The Ashantis go by the accolade Kotoko (the porcupine). They gained this accolade due to their military power and effective strategy in fighting wars since 1701. Their assertive claim that if a thousand Ashantis are annihilated in war, a thousand more will come to replace those decapitated (wokum apem a, apem beba), likened the Ashantis to the porcupine which releases its sharp long quills or spines and gets replacement almost immediately. Interestingly the Nzimas also call themselves Kotoko but the reason behind it may probably not be the same as that for the Ashantis.

This article will discuss why Voltarians are called “Number 9”.

At independence, Ghana was divided into seven administrative regions: Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Northern, Upper, Volta and Western. Brong Ahafo was the first region created after independence. It was carved out of the Ashanti Region in 1958. Anyone who went to school in the 60s and 70s will remember that Ghana had only eight regions. Yet Volta Region, which had existed since independence, was called “Number 9”. PNDCL 26 created Greater-Accra as a region on its own on 23rd July 1982. Greater-Accra, became the ninth region of Ghana. Yet the Volta Region retained its nickname of “Number 9”.

The youngest regions in Ghana are the Upper-West and Upper East which were created when the then Upper Region, was divided into two by the PNDC government in 1983. Of course, the Volta Region continued to be called “Number 9”.

When Brong-Ahafo Region was created in 1958, it left the Ashanti Region completely “landlocked” within Ghana. The region has no borders with the outside world. Some observers say it was a deliberate ploy by Kwame Nkrumah to make it impossible for the Ashanti State, the heartland of the “matemeho” movement and congenital opponents of the CPP, from ever seceding from Ghana. When Greater-Accra region was created, it left the Eastern Region also “landlocked” within Ghana as it lost its sea border. It is, thus, only the Ashanti and Eastern Regions that share no borders with the outside world.

But how and why did the Volta Region get the nickname by which some people still call it? The well-known fact must again be stated that the nickname “Number 9” is almost always used in a derogatory sense even if it is often said more as a joke than as a serious insult. The people of the region do not call themselves that and it is obvious they do not quite take much delight in being called so

The derogatory connotation of the Volta nickname may come from its carrying a certain sense of “lateness”. This sense is reinforced by the fact that the region is made largely (but not completely) of the erstwhile Trans-Volta Togoland (TVT) which, until December 1956, was really not an integral part of the Gold Coast. Of the four entities that constituted modern Ghana, the TVT was the last to be formally joined to the Gold Coast (that became Ghana) even though the territory had long been administered by the British from their Accra seat as part of their Gold Coast “possession”.

It wouldn’t matter if the lateness denoted just that – lateness. But “Number 9” carries a sense of backwardness even though the region doesn’t come last on a range of important metrics. It is not the last region to be created, it is not the smallest region, it does not have the smallest population, and it does not have the lowest literacy rate. It does not come last in an alphabetic ordering of the regions of the county. Yet the nickname persists.

A second reason one can hear for the “Number 9” is that, until new codes were introduced in 2010, Volta Region’s code was 09. If you lived outside the region, you dialled 09 to get to the region. But this reason does not seem true. In the 60s, not many people had access to telephones and it is unlikely the region could be identified by its telephone code. Moreover, it is a bit difficult to assign a derogatory connotation to a region because of its telephone code number.

How did the “Number 9” come about? The reason is actually simple and one which, at a time, the people of the region would have been proud of. The first ever Miss Ghana competition was held on 4th March 1957, two days before our independence. It may have been conducted as part of our independence anniversary activities. The candidate representing the TVT (Volta Region?), which had by then become an integral part of the new nation, had the identification number 9. Miss Monica Amekoafia, then 22 years old from Alavanyo in the Volta Region, and representing her region carrying lap number 9, went on to win the entire competition and was crowned as the first ever Miss Ghana. Ghana did not have television then (it wouldn’t come until 1964) and only those present at the function or listening to the radio (if it was broadcast live), would have seen or heard the announcers calling the Volta Region candidate by her lap number. The following day, the newspapers may have carried pictures of the candidates and their regions and their lap numbers.

People may have talked about the contest for days even as they still do today for “Ghana’s Most Beautiful”. Volta Region became identified with “Number 9”. If Ghanaians welcomed the TVT as part of Ghana, there might have been a lot of goodwill around. It was a time we all identified ourselves as Ghanaians. The tribalism we see today was virtually non-existent then. Those who then called Volta Region “Number 9” wouldn’t have done so for any diabolical reasons. That would come later on…

Today, there are still a few misconceptions about the Volta Region. The most serious is the one which identifies the region with the erstwhile TVT. Today’s Volta Region is not identical with the former German colony of Togoland that the British took over in 1916. The CPP government made sure of that. Take a good look at the regional map of Ghana. The coastal areas of the Volta Region consisting of Anloga, Keta, Aflao, Denu and going up to Peki, Tsibu, Awudome, etc. were never part of the German colony of Togoland but are, today, parts of the Volta Region. These areas had been part of the Gold Coast since about the 1850s. Further north, parts of the present day Northern and Upper East regions were part of the erstwhile TVT but are not, today, part of Volta Region. The CPP government simply took the erstwhile TVT and divided it into several regions and added parts of the erstwhile Gold Coast to some of these regions. Just like in the case of the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, there may have been some strategic reasons behind this move. Today, the erstwhile TVT can be found in three different regions. How can they succeed in seceding?

If you look at the map of the erstwhile TVT, you will notice that its southern border is a straight line just below Ho. This is one more evidence of the saying that in the scramble for Africa, the colonial powers used “ruler and pencil” to carve out Africa among themselves. The borders of the erstwhile TVT cut the Ewes in two “by heart”. That was why areas like Peki, Tsibu and even Kpeve, whose Ewe likens that of the “northern Ewes” found themselves in the Gold Coast whereas nearby Ho found itself in German Togoland.

German Togoland included the whole of Togo and the erstwhile TVT. The Germans colonized it for some 25 years until the First World War when the British and the French pushed them out of the area as part of their war effort. They then divided the area between themselves. The British administered their part from the Gold Coast.

After the Second World War, the UN mandated the area as a trust territory for the British to look over. They called it Trans Volta Togoland and added it to the Gold Coast, though as a separate entity. When Gold Coast independence was imminent, the British informed the UN they would not be able to continue administering the territory after Gold Coast became free. It was then that the controversial plebiscite was held and the people of the TVT voted to become part of the Gold Coast and formally did so in December 1956 in time for independence in March 1957. The French, however, continued to administer the French Togoland until they were forced to grant it independence in 1960.

Number 9 has been repeated by Ghanaians till today to refer to Voltarians in a derisive and derogatory manner. Those who say it, see Voltarians as backward and the 9th and last region of Ghana. It is often said that when a lie is repeated continuously it gains an element of truth. People have either refused or are unwilling to accept or learn the history of “Number 9”. The Bible states that for lack of knowledge my people perish.

Today, there is a poorly maintained statue of Miss Monica Amekoafia (now deceased) in front of the Post Office in Hohoe in the Volta Region. It commemorates her victory in the beauty pageant of 1957. I wonder how many of Hohoe’s citizens who pass by this statue every day know that it is the young lady’s victory in the year of our independence that is the cause of their region being called “Number 9”.