Michael Henaku Former CEO of Beige Bank charged with money laundering

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Accra High Court
Accra High Court

Michael Henaku, former Chief Executive Officer of Beige Bank Limited, has been charged with 44 counts of money laundering, fraudulent breach of trust and stealing depositors’ money.

He is expected to appear before the Financial and Economic Crime Division of the High Court in Accra to answer the various charges, according to a suit filed by the Attorney General’s Office on November 2, this year.

The suit, signed by by Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution, said the alleged malfeasance was discovered after the Bank of Ghana (BoG) had revoked the banking license of Henaku and placed the Bank in receivership.

The Bank’s license was revoked by BoG on August 1, 2018.

The suit said a review of the financial and other records of the Bank conducted by the Receiver identified a number of suspicious and unusual transactions.

The unusual transactions were subsequently reported to the law enforcement agencies for investigations and same revealed that between 2015 and 2018, Henaku, who was then the CEO of Beige Bank had allegedly used various means to transfer huge sums of money to companies related to him and for his personal benefit.

It said the funds transferred were depositors funds lodged with the Bank.

Also, the suit said between 2017 and 2018, the accused had caused the transfer of 10,071 fixed deposit accounts held by Beige Bank in, which various customers had placed a total of GHS 448,636,210, to Beige Capital Asset Management Limited (BCAM) without the knowledge and consent of the customers.

Meanwhile, BCAM was a limited liability company wholly owned by The Beige Group Limited (Beige Group), an entity wholly owned by the accused, according to the suit.

Again, investigations revealed that the accused between 2017 and 2018, had caused the transfer of 35 fixed deposit investments of 23 customers of Beige Bank totalling GHS 141,042,348 to the Beige Group, a company owned by the accused, the majority shareholder of the Beige Bank.

Investigations also revealed that sometime in March 2018, the accused had caused a “fictitious” second account to be opened in the name of First Africa Savings and Loans (FASL) on an existing account holder with Beige Bank without the knowledge of the board and management of FASL.

The suit alleged the accused then caused the transfer of the sum of GHS 320 million from the accounts of various Beige Bank customers into the account of BCAM held with Beige Bank.

It said the GHS320 million was subsequently transferred from BCAM account held at Beige Bank into the “fictitious” FASL account that had been opened in Beige Bank books on the instructions of the accused person allegedly.

Between March 2018 and August 2018, the suit said GHS21,123,270.96 out of the GHS 320 million was transferred from the said “fictitious” FASL bank account to two individuals and 10 companies, nine of which were related to the accused, on the instructions of the accused.

The suit suit said again, between the year 2015 and 2017, the accused through the use of payment vouchers, allegedly caused the sum of GH1,465,000 of depositors fund lodged with Beige Bank to be paid to himself and other persons.

Those transactions, the suit said were recorded in a general ledger account of the bank described as Directors Account.

Investigations revealed that the accused through the use of payment vouchers, e-mails and memo’s had caused a total of GHS20,599,052.58 of depositors funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit.

Again, those transactions were recorded in a ledger account of the bank and same was described as Shareholders Account.

The suit said between the year 2016 and 2017, the accused had through the use of payment voucher caused a total amount of GHS141,742.087.70 of depositors fund lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his personal benefit allegedly.

The transactions were recorded in a general ledger account of the banks and described as Prepayment Project Works account.

It said between the year 2017 and 2018, the accused, through the use of payment voucher and e-mails, and memo’s caused the sum GHS118,076,813.09 of depositors funds with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit.

The suit said the transactions were also recorded in general ledger account of the bank and described as Beige Group Accounts.

Investigations, according to the suit, had established that the money dishonestly appropriated by the accused allegedly from Beige Bank remained unpaid as at August 1, 2018 when the bank’s license was revoked by BoG.

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