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Former MASLOC boss charged with 80 counts of stealing, money laundering

By Mutala Yakubu
MASLOC
Former MASLOC boss charged with 80 counts of stealing, money laundering

Former CEO of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) Sedina Christine Tamakloe has been charged with eighty counts of stealing and money laundering.


In 2017 the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) conducted investigations into certain fraudulent disbursement of MASLOC funds involving Ms Tamakloe and former Operations Manager of MASCLOC Daniel Axim.

The findings of the investigation has led the Attorney General to charge Ms Tamakloe and Axim with money laundering and stealing.

Some of the counts include:

1. Stealing contrary to section 124(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
2. Conspiracy to commit crime namely stealing contrary to sections 23(1) and 124(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
3. Wilfully Causing Financial Loss to the State contrary to section 179A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
4. Causing Loss to Public Property, contrary to section 2 of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD 140).
5. Improper payment of public funds contrary to section 96(1)(c) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
6. Unauthorised Commitment, resulting in a Financial Obligation for the Government contrary to section 96(1)(a) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).
7. Money Laundering contrary to section 1(1)(c) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749).
8. Contravention of the Public Procurement Act contrary to sections 92(1), and 40(1)(a) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).

The case comes off on Monday February 4, 2019.

Read also: EOCO cites former MASLOC boss for fraud


Background

Ms Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, was the Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) from November, 2013 to January, 2017.

Daniel Axim, is the former Operations Manager at MASLOC. MASLOC is a government agency set up to assist small and medium scale businesses with low interest loans.

In 2017, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) conducted investigations into certain fraudulent disbursement of MASLOC funds involving the two persons.

Investigations revealed that in June 2014, MASLOC invested a sum of GH¢150,000 in Obaatanpa Micro-Finance Company Limited (Obaatanpa), a licenced Tier II microfinance company located at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

Thereafter, Ms Tamakloe offered Obaatanpa a further investment sum of GH¢500,000. As a result, a MASLOC Agricultural Development Bank (adb) cheque dated 24th July 2014 in the sum of GH¢500,000 was drawn in favour of Obaatanpa.

Soon after Obaatanpa received the MASLOC cheque, Ms Tamakloe informed the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa that the investment amount of GH¢500,000 would attract 24% interest.

Obaatanpa decided to return the amount to MASLOC since the interest rate being demanded by the accused person was too high and unprofitable for its business and issued a cheque in refund of the loan amount.

Upon presentation of the cheque, Ms Tamakloe declined to accept the cheque and made a demand for a cash refund.

A cash amount of GH¢500,000 was delivered to Ms Tamakloe by the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa on the night of 28th August 2014 at the Baatsona Total Filling Station located on the Spintex Road in Accra.

By a letter dated 28th August 2014, the 1st accused person acknowledged receipt of the refund sum.

In 2015, per letters some of which were under the hand of Ms Tamakloe, MASLOC made demands on Obaatanpa for the payment of interest on the principal investment sum of GH¢500,000.

In response to the demands, Obaatanpa wrote a reminder to MASLOC concerning the payment of the loan amount and drew Ms Tamakloe's attention to the unjustified demands whereupon the demands stopped.

In 2017, upon the assumption of office of a new Chief Executive of MASLOC a demand notice was again sent to Obaatanpa for the payment of accrued interest on the same investment sum of GH¢500,000 whereupon Obaatanpa once again informed MASLOC that the money had already been refunded since 2014.

Investigations subsequently showed that MASLOC had no record of the amount having been paid to it and that the 1st accused person had appropriated the amount of GH¢500,000.

Particulars of Offence

Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, on or about 28th August 2014 in Accra in the Greater-Accra Region dishonestly appropriated the sum of GH¢500,000.00 the property of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).

Read also: Former MASLOC CEO's lawyers threaten suit against Media