BEIGE Bank CEO Charged with Theft, Money Laundering

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Mr Mike Nyinaku

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has filed 44 charges against Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of now defunct BEIGE Bank, Michael Nyinaku, over the loss of GH₵‎2.1 billion belonging to depositors.

He faces charges of stealing, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering.

The writ dated Wednesday, November 2, 2022, has been filed at the criminal High Court and was signed by the Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa.

Out of the 44 counts, the first nine border on stealing contrary to section 124(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

Count 10 to 34 (25 charges) are on fraudulent breach of trust contrary to section 128 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

Count 35 to 44 (nine charges) are on money laundering contrary to section 1(1)(c) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044).

Facts of the case

The facts of the case are that  Nyinaku was the Chief Executive Officer of “The Beige Bank Limited” (Beige Bank).

On August 1, 2018, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) revoked the banking licence of Beige Bank and placed the Bank in receivership.

According to the AG, a review of the financial and other records of the Bank conducted by the Receiver and his team identified a number of suspicious and unusual transactions which were subsequently reported to law enforcement agencies for investigations.

Huge money transfers 

The writ said Investigations revealed that between 2015 and 2O18,   Nyinaku as CEO of the bank used various means to transfer huge sums of money to companies related to him and for his personal benefit.

The court document said the funds transferred were depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank and between 2017 and 2018, Nyinaku caused the transfer of 10,071 fixed deposit accounts held with Beige Bank in which various customers placed a total of  GH¢448.6 million  (GH¢448,636,210.21) to Beige Capital Asset Management Limited (BCAM), without the knowledge and consent of these customers.

BCAM is a limited liability company wholly owned by “The Beige Group Limited” (Beige Group), an entity which in turn is wholly owned by Nyinaku.

According to the writ, investigations also revealed that between the year 2017 and 2018, Nyinaku again caused the transfer of 35 fixed deposit investments of two customers of Beige Bank, totaling GH¢141 million (GH¢ 141,042,348.92) to the Beige Group, a company wholly owned by Nyinaku and is the majority shareholder of Beige Bank.

Per the filing, investigations further revealed that, sometime in March 2018, Nyinaku caused a fictitious second account to be opened in the name of First Africa Savings and Loans (FASL), an existing account holder with Beige Bank, without the knowledge of the Board and management of FASL.

Nyinaku then caused the transfer of the sum of GH¢20 million from the accounts of various Beige Bank customers into the bank account of BCAM held with Beige Bank.

The AG said GH¢320 million was subsequently transferred from the BCAM account held with Beige Bank into the fictitious FASL account that had been opened in Beige Bank’s books on the instructions of the accused.

The documents show that between March 2018 and August 2018, GH¢21 million (GH¢21,123,270.96) was transferred from the fictitious FASL bank account to some two individuals and ten companies, nine of which are related to the accused person, on the instructions of the accused person.

The writ also said between 2015 and 2017, Nyinaku, through the use of payment vouchers, caused the sum of GH¢1.4 million (GH¢1,465,000) of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be paid to himself and other persons.

According to the AG, the transactions were recorded in a general ledger account of the bank descried as Directors Account but investigations revealed that Nyinaku, through the use of Payment vouchers, e-mails and memos, caused a total amount of GH¢20.5 million (GH¢20,599,052.58) of depositors” funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit.

Additionally, the filing said between 20l6 and 2017, Nyinaku, through the use of payment vouchers, caused a total amount of GH¢141.7 million (GH¢141,742,087.70) of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit.

The court documents also stated that between 2017 and 2018, Nyinaku, through the use of Payment vouchers, e-mails and memos, further caused the sum of GH¢118 million (GH¢118,076,813.09) of depositors funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit.

Per the writ, investigations have established that the money dishonestly appropriated by the accused from Beige Bank remained unpaid as at August 1, 2018 when the Bank’s licence was revoked by Bank of Ghana.

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