The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) are expected to probe former officials of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) during the tenure of ex-President John Mahama over an alleged GH¢50 million ‘dubious’ debt.
Newly-appointed Managing Director of PMMC, Dr Kwadwo Opare, made this known during the inauguration of the reconstituted eight-member governing board of the company in Accra on Friday.
According to him, massive rot had been uncovered at PMMC under the leadership of George Abradu-Otoo, who is ex-President Mahama’s ‘darling boy.’
This, according to him, had compelled the current management to consider referring the cases to the CID and EOCO for thorough investigations.
He said preliminary investigations by the new management revealed that PMMC had GH¢50 million questionable debt.
The debt, he said, was incurred from 2013 to 2017.
The moneys, according to him, were reportedly borrowed from banks by the previous management of PMMC for “trading.”
“They borrowed money from the banks and they were not paying back and then the interest accumulated,” he said.
“How can you borrow to trade and then you make losses, continue to make losses and you continue to trade? That is the question we should ask,” the MD queried.
According to him, several receipts and documents at PMMC showed that some of the funds were wrongly invested.
Dr Kwadwo Opare alleged that about $2 million had been invested into the purchase of a diamond polishing machine for PMMC, claiming that the machine was left to rust after a short period of time.
DAILY GUIDE had earlier reported about the said diamond polishing machine and other alleged shady deals at PMMC, which included the non-repatriation of mineral proceeds to the country by foreigners, particularly Indians and Chinese who exported gold through PMMC during the tenure of Mr Abradu-Otoo.
Mr Abrado-Otoo denied any wrongdoing in an interview with the paper in 2015.
But the current MD insists that there was serious financial malfeasance at PMMC which had made it difficult for the company to pay its staff.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, inaugurated the board for PMMC, which is chaired by the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwatia, Kiston Ohemeng Kissi.
The other board members include Dr. Kwadwo Opare-Hammond, Kofi Mensah Dametsia, Alhaji Musah Fuseini, Nana Kwesi Awuah, Emefa Janet and Lawyer Komla.
The deputy minister tasked the newly-inaugurated board to turn around the fortunes of the ailing company, saying, “You have to adopt a paradigm shift to add value to your products.”
Mr Ohemeng Kissi, on his part said, “I love challenges, this is because when there are victories, they feel well earned.”
He also bemoaned the deplorable state in which the former management left the company.
“PMMC is in coma and needs to be revived; my colleagues and I would be up to the task. We would transform this company into a profit-making and a dividend-paying company,” he stated.
By Melvin Tarlue & Akpene Darko-Cobbina