The government has started the process to confirm the ownership of 18 landed properties, including an FM radio station, belonging to the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, and his accomplice, Nii Okai Adjei, to be confiscated to the state.
Amoateng, who was arrested on December 11, 2005 for trafficking 136 pounds of heroin, valued at $5million, is currently serving a 10-year jail term in the United States. He was sentenced on December 17, 2007, after he had been found guilty by the trial judge, David G. Tragger, and is due to be released from the CI Moshannon Valley Prison on July 30, 2014.
His accomplice, Nii Adjei who entered a plea bargain with the US authorities after their arrest, has since been deported home after serving a reduced sentence. The Attorney-General and minister of justice, Dr. Benjamin Kunbour told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the state was being careful in ascertaining ownership of those landed properties before starting the legal processes to vest those properties in the state.
That he explained, was to avoid the situation where, after the properties had been seized, they would later be returned to their owners as a result of some flaws in the processes leading to their seizure. Among the properties so far identified is a large walled parcel of land of four plots with one completed bungalow and a huge uncompleted two-storey building at Mandela. Besides the property in Accra, 12 other properties and assets said to belong to Amoateng have been identified in the Brong Ahafo Region.
They include an agricultural company; an FM radio station in which Amoateng is a shareholder, an unnamed heavy equipment company; a mansion at Breman, a suburb of Nkoranza; a house at Anoma; a guesthouse at Hansua in Techiman; an uncompleted guesthouse at Nkoranza; a commercial farm; a tomato factory and a water manufacturing company at Bonsu. Properties identified and said to belong to Nii Adjei include a one-story residential accommodation around the Nungua beach, another one-story residential accommodation located at the Nungua Estates and one unit house off the main Nungua-Tema road. Dr. Kumbuor said the state was being careful in its process, hence the seeming delay. He explained that the investigations would establish the personal interest of the convicts in those properties before any action was taken.
When asked what would happen in the event that those properties had been sold and transferred to new owners, he said the investigations would establish whether the sale or transfer was done to conceal identification. According to Dr. Kumbour, the initial investigation s were undertaken by the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) but said NACOB?s report had been handed over to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to undertake the verification processes. He said after EOCO had submitted its report, the state would prepare seizure notices and subsequent court action for the vesting of those properties in the state.
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